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 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Office of International Women's Issues > Electronic Resources > Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet
Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues
Washington, DC
January 19, 2006

U.S. Commitment to Women in Europe and Eurasia

Political Participation and Civil Society

Leadership Training.
The Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have supported numerous leadership training programs for women from Kosovo, Georgia, and Turkey. The Hope Fellowship Program hosted two month seminars for eight Kosovar women in the United States. The program was designed to help them gain leadership, technical and practical skills to apply to their own work in rebuilding Kosovo. In Georgia, women participated in a women’s leadership program funded by the Freedom Support Act. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) awarded a grant to Kent State University to conduct a women’s leadership exchange program between the United States and Southeastern Turkey and conducted seminars on leadership skill-building, decision-making and conflict resolution.

Women in Politics. In June 2005, participants from various regions and political parties in Russia attended a "Women in Politics" conference in Moscow. The International Republican Institute, with support from USAID, sponsored the two-day event, which highlighted women’s regional roles in political parties. During the conference, the Association Coordination Council was elected and will meet monthly to plan activities and facilitate information exchange across the country.

Three women parliamentarians from Turkey participated in a three week International Visitor Leadership Program on "Women in U.S. Politics," in September 2004. The program was designed to broaden their understanding of the value of diversity, networking with grassroots organizations, volunteerism, and the role of women’s organizations in shaping political dialogue and developing and electing candidates.

Economic Opportunity

Public-Private Partnerships. Fifty women business owners from small- and medium-sized enterprises from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus joined 50 U.S. women business leaders at the September 2004 Riga Women Business Leaders Summit hosted by The U.S. Embassy in Riga and Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga. The Summit’s aim was to help build economic relationships between the Baltic States, their neighbors, and the United States. For the second portion of the Riga Summit, the women traveled to the United States in December 2004 to attend a conference at Georgetown University to continue their partnerships, exchange business best practices and build management skills.

Entrepreneurial Training. A conference entitled "The Role of Women in Mono-Profile Cities" was held in Slavutych, Kiev, Ukraine, to address the economic status of women in that area since the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Station tragedy. Participants discussed gender equality, legislation, elections, and the role of women in business and government. Participants sent a resolution to the Ukrainian government asking them to address these issues.

Microenterprise Development. For several decades, the United States has been helping those who depend on microenterprises for their survival to gain access to capital, information, inputs, technologies, and markets. Women are major beneficiaries of microloans. In Azerbaijan, Mercy Corps is raising the incomes of rural women by making high quality and reasonably priced veterinary and animal husbandry services available for livestock and poultry. Such programs also help veterinarians expand their client base and improve their ability to diagnose and treat.

Business Development. Eight women business leaders and entrepreneurs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Latvia, Norway, Romania, and Switzerland participated in a three-week European Regional International Visitor Leadership Program on "Business Development Issues for Women Business Leaders" in June 2004. The program provided practical insights into initiatives that promote the development of women business owners, introduced federal, state, and local policies designed to advance women's prominence in business leadership, and provided opportunities for visitors to meet with women business leaders and owners from the United States.

Combating Violence Against Women

Training. Social advocates from women’s crisis centers across Russia came together in August 2005 for skills training by the USAID-supported Gender Justice Program. Trainees were taught how to better assist victims of domestic violence, access the judicial system, and prepare for court proceedings. Throughout 2003-04 the U.S. supported training for 150 civil servants, medical workers, educators, and law-enforcement officers on how to combat domestic violence in Russia. USAID in Romania sponsored similar projects and supports a large coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGO) that runs shelters and offers legal support to victims.

Anti-Trafficking Efforts

A comprehensive list of the many United States Government-supported programs to combat human trafficking can be obtained at the Trafficking In Persons Office website www.state.gov/g/tip.

Raising Awareness of Trafficking.
The United States has provided resources to the public library at the Estonian Women’s Studies and Resource Center to educate police and border guard officials, youth workers, social workers, teachers, and vocational counselors about the causes and consequences of prostitution and trafficking in women. In Albania, the U.S. Embassy Tirana’s Democracy Commission Small Grants Program supported the production of a short drama by high school students depicting the tragedy of human trafficking. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the U.S. government has supported a number of local NGOs to provide assistance to victims in trafficking as well as to conduct public awareness campaigns to prevent the spread of trafficking, such as the Lara Women's Organization of Bijeljina to launch a public awareness campaign about the trafficking problem in that region.

Trafficking Prevention Centers. In Ukraine, the United States funded seven women’s Trafficking Prevention Centers. The Centers have hotlines and offer referral services for health, legal, and psychological counseling. The Centers also provide job skills training, legal consulting services, and a public education campaign.

Legal Reform. In July 2004, five representatives from the Finnish Parliament, Ministries, and NGO's participated in a 1-week Voluntary Visitor Program in Washington, DC, and Atlanta, Georgia, focusing on U.S. Governmental and non-governmental efforts in combating trafficking and assisting victims. The program gave the participants the opportunity to learn about U.S. legislation and strategies and NGOs' efforts in victim identification and assistance. It prepared them with models and ideas to help implement Finland's new anti-trafficking program.

Media Gets Results. The Office of Citizen Exchanges at the State Department sponsored an anti-trafficking training program for members of the media in Tajikistan. As a result of the training, reporter Adiba Umarova made a television documentary about trafficking and urged government officials to take action. Because of her efforts, investigations into trafficking rings were opened by local law enforcement.

Healthcare

New Medical Equipment. The U.S. Government donated $500,000 in equipment and supplies to Uzbekistan to improve healthcare for women and children. New medical equipment will help twelve central hospitals, two maternity clinics and selected rural medical points in the regions of Kashkadarya and Surkhandarya. Training programs on the new equipment will ensure that maternity wards and pediatric departments provide better care for their patients.

Training. A first-of-its-kind conference was held in Moscow in July 2005 to prevent the abandonment of HIV/AIDS affected children. The USAID-funded Assistance to Russian Orphans (ARO) and worked with the Russian Ministry of Health and Social Development and the Ministry of Education and Science to gather over 150 government officials, technical experts, and service providers from 11 regions with the highest HIV/AIDS rates in Russia. The conference focused on social, psychological, and medical assistance to HIV-positive mothers, in addition to placement programs for HIV orphans.

Awareness and Information. The Center of Women Suffering from Breast Cancer in Kosovo established the first Women’s center in May 2005 to help women diagnosed with breast cancer, regardless of their ethnicity or religion. The center will promote public awareness, treatment options and assistance to cancer patients. It intends on publishing a booklet that will address problems facing women with breast cancer.

Education

Partnerships. A 2004-05 Department of State program under the auspices of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsored JFDP Fellow developed a new "Sociology of Gender" course for the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Montenegro (in the former Yugoslavia). The course was developed in consultation with the Director of the Nordic Institute for Women’s Studies and Gender Research at the University of Oslo. A Boston University-Tomsk State University (Russia) partnership has established a legal clinic through which law students give free legal advice to clients, many of whom are victims of domestic violence. In Ukraine, Iowa State University and the Center for Gender Studies at Kharkiv National University are developing a Master’s program in Gender Studies. The program included 15 exchanges in 2005 and eight new curriculum modules covering gender stereotypes, gender identity, trafficking, and globalization.


Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues
(phone) 202-312-9664
http://www.state.gov/g/wi/
January 2006



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