Five women from Găgăuzia region open and develop businesses with the support of UNDP and the Government of Romania

December 9, 2022

A women's economic empowerment programme support launching and expanding of five businesses in Găgăuzia region. They are managed exclusively by women and offer jobs to people from vulnerable groups, among others. The initiative is implemented by UNDP, with the support of RoAid - Romanian Agency for International Development Cooperation and is part of the "Combating violence against women in Găgăuzia, Republic of Moldova" project.

The winners were selected following a funding competition of business plans, conducted at the end of the economic empowerment programme. The participants at the programme learned how to develop a business plan, how to evaluate and avoid risks and how to promote businesses, so that they become profitable and sustainable. The economic empowerment programme was implemented in collaboration with the Public Association "Biaz Gul" from Comrat.

One of the beneficiaries of the programme, Maria Rotari, received equipment of MDL39,000 for the confectionery she had recently launched in Comrat city. The woman hopes not only people from the city, but also those from the surrounding villages will become customers of her business.

“This equipment I received is exactly what I've been in need of to be able to increase the production volume. I'm glad that I obtained this support through an open and honest competition and that I learned how to start a business, both theoretical knowledge and practical skills," she says.

Another beneficiary, Victoria Cucer, received equipment for her beauty salon. "Apart from the traditional services offered by salons, I also conduct professional courses. This means that I help people to learn a demanded profession, which they can practice close to their place of living," says the woman.

“We hope that with enhancing the economic ability of women, we are strengthening their resilience and independence capacity as well as ensuring the reduction of incidence of gender-based violence (GBV). This complements and is part and parcel of the services for survivors of the first center of Găgăuzia for the GBV survivors. Our aim is to support the prevention of violence and the fight against the stereotypes of gender, economic ability of women, education of population while promoting a culture of non-tolerance against GBV, ensuring the chance equality between men and women and prevention of violence toward women,” noted Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.

"When the Government of Romania, through the Romanian Agency for International Development Cooperation - RoAid, decides to offer financial support, it focuses on those projects that are of direct benefit to the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, regardless of the region in which they live, the language they speak, religion or gender. So, the project implemented by UNDP brings together, in a synergetic manner, all the necessary attributes of a successful project: it addresses the needs of women from a region of the Republic of Moldova with a certain specificity, coming from vulnerable categories of the population and aims to address one of the more acute social problems - domestic violence - using pro-active tools such as developing and encouraging their entrepreneurial spirit," said Cristian-Leon Țurcanu, Ambassador of Romania to the Republic of Moldova.

A study conducted in 2021 by UNDP in the Găgăuzia region concluded that women who live in poverty, are not employed and depend on social benefits are the most vulnerable to gender-based violence. Thus, the economic empowerment of women is one of the best solutions to preventing and combating violence.

According to the study, for the women aged between 35 and 54 from Găgăuzia region, the level of unemployment exceeds that of men in the same age category. At the same time, more and more young people between the ages of 15 and 29 are not employed, do not participate in professional courses or other forms of training. Among them, the number of women is higher than that of men.

The project "Combating violence against women in Găgăuzia, Republic of Moldova" is implemented by UNDP with the support of the Government of Romania. Romania offered €75,000, through a contribution of RoAid - Romanian Agency for International Development Cooperation.

“This contribution of Romania for supporting Găgăuzia region is not a unique but is part of a series of consistent actions and here I would only mention the renovation of few kindergartens, the construction of the new building of the “Mihai Eminescu’ High School in Comrat, which teaches students in Romanian. All these are intended to operationalize in all regions of the country the strategic partnership between Romania and the Republic of Moldova for the support of the European path of the Republic of Moldova, including in the field of human rights’ promotion and respect, both as a European value and as a technical conditionality for fulfillment of the Copenhagen criteria for joining the European Union,” noted Cristian-Leon Țurcanu, Ambassador of Romania to the Republic of Moldova.