Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues
January 19, 2006
U.S. Commitment to Women in Europe and Eurasia
Political Participation and Civil Society
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues