Women’s economic empowerment has proven to be one of the key factors in promoting economic growth, maintaining peace and stability, and ensuring an inclusive and sustainable environment. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of advancing gender equality as women have been particularly vulnerable to disruptions in daily activities, especially in low- and middle- income countries. With more women than men being engaged in non-essential social services sectors, which have been heavily hit by containment measures, there has been a disproportionate loss of jobs and sources of income. As a result of the pandemic, gender digital divide is becoming pronounced with more women lacking adequate access to digital operations, which impedes their ability to engage in economic activities or transition to remote learning and working. Increase in family care responsibilities and unpaid household work has put an additional pressure on women’s ability to pursue economic opportunities. In combination, all these adverse effects might pose considerable challenges for women’s economic empowerment even in the aftermath of the pandemic.
The Caspian Policy Center will bring together international and regional experts and policymakers to discuss ways to advance women’s economic empowerment in the Caspian region. Specific topics will include developing women’s digital entrepreneurship and support for women-owned businesses, providing necessary vocational training and promoting education, and bridging gender divide in access to technology.
- 09:00 – 9:05 Welcome remarks – Efgan Nifti, Executive Director, Caspian Policy Center
- 09:05 – 10:25 Panel discussion and Q&A session
- Akbota Karibayeva, Caspian Policy Center
- Charity Wallace, Managing Director, Global Women’s Issues, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation
- Lubov Fajfer, Senior Education, Gender, and Vulnerable Groups Advisor, Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, U.S. Agency for International Development
- Sunita Pitamber, Associate Director, Gender & Economic Inclusion, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
- Margaret Shakarashvili, National Consultant on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
- Nigar Arpadarai, Member of Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan
- Leyla Mammadova, Deputy Chairperson at the State Agro Credit and Development Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan
- Saule Salikhova, Chairperson of the Council of Businesswomen of Mangistau region, “Atameken” National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, Kazakhstan
- Dilorom Fayzieva, Member of Parliament, Chairwoman of the Committee on International Affairs and Interparliamentary Relations, Legislative Chamber of the Parliament of Uzbekistan
- Eldor Tulyakov, Executive Director at Development Strategy Center, Uzbekistan
- 10:25 – 10:30 Closing remarks