The State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs, USAID and UNDP Open New Women’s Resource Center in Sumgait

Posted January 28, 2022

Photo: UNDP Azerbaijan / Eltaj Niftaliyev

Sumgait, 28 January 2022 – Today, the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs (SCFWCA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) opened a new Women’s Resource Center (WRC) in Sumgait to promote women’s empowerment and economic resilience, and to provide support to women who have suffered gender-based or domestic violence.

“Women's Resource Centers are making a significant contribution towards improving women's access to economic opportunities, with a focus on entrepreneurship and self-development. We will continue to support and empower women economically,” said the Chairperson of SCFWCA Bahar Muradova.

According to USAID’s Mission Director, Dr. Jaidev Singh, “USAID is proud to support Azerbaijani women in their efforts to learn critical skills and become more economically resilient through the training they can attend at the Women’s Resource Center. Thanks to our partners at UNDP and SCFWCA, we are also relieved to know that the victims of domestic violence have a safe place to seek necessary help.”

“With the crucial support of the SCWCFA and USAID we have helped create another safe space where Azerbaijani women can meet, get support and grow professionally. Investing in women and girls brings multiple dividends to families and societies. Keeping women’s empowerment at the centre of development efforts is also one of the best ways to advance Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals for people and our planet,” – said UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Charu Bist.

The Center in Sumgait is the first WRC established in an urban area and fourth center launched within the framework of the “Economic Empowerment for Entrepreneurship and Employment” project funded by USAID beginning in 2016. USAID and UNDP have collaborated to launch these WRCs in Masalli, Zagatala, Khachmaz, and now in Sumgait.

Since 2011, a total of 14 WRCs have been established by the State Committee and UNDP thanks to the generous funding from international donors, including USAID, across several regions of Azerbaijan. Over the past 11 years, these centers have been providing a safe space for women to share ideas on how to improve their livelihoods through economic empowerment. To date, free training courses have been offered to over 6,200 women in gender equality and economic rights, and skills such as business development, vocational courses, accounting, financial literacy, and computer science and more than 400 businesses have been established.

Since 2020, with USAID support, nine of these centers have also started providing regular pro-bono legal and psychological services to survivors of gender-based or domestic violence.

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