OSCE Promotes Women’s Economic Empowerment In Rural Areas Of Kazakhstan

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An OSCE-supported roundtable discussion on promoting women entrepreneurship in Kazakhstan’s rural areas, which took place on August 19 in Taraz, South Kazakhstan, brought together some 50 participants from the Kazakh Parliament, the Zhambyl local administration, the regional National Chamber of Entrepreneurs Atameken, business organizations and civil society, the OSCE Programme Office in Astana reported.

Participants of the event, organized by the OSCE Programme Office in Astana in partnership with the Union of Women Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan, discussed the challenges facing female entrepreneurs in the regions and ways to improve the legal and institutional framework. They also learned about financial and economic tools such as supporting women’s access to microcredit facilities, as well as development programmes for small and medium businesses.

“The event aims at assisting women entrepreneurs in their everyday business activities,” said Meruert Kazbekova, a Member of Parliament and Chair of the Women Entrepreneurs’ Union. “We believe that this initiative will support creating new working places in the rural areas and, thus, contribute to economic growth in the country.”

Rati Japaridze, Economic and Environmental Officer at the OSCE Programme Office, emphasized the importance of gender mainstreaming in the OSCE’s programmes and said: “For the purpose of involving more women in entrepreneurship support programmes, it is key to enhance their financial and business skills. The Office stands ready to provide its expert support to such initiatives.”

The roundtable discussion was followed by a financial management and business leadership training seminar aiming to improve the skills of women living in the rural areas of the Zhambyl region in South Kazakhstan.

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