Rural women in Kyrgyzstan receive assistance from Swedish funds

A programme that helps rural women in Kyrgyzstan gain access to new economic opportunities has received significant financial support from the Swedish government.

© FAO / Alma Karsymbek

The USD 5 million contribution from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) will help expand the the Joint Programme on Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women in Kyrgyzstan and six other pilot countries – Ethiopia, Guatemala, Liberia, Nepal, Niger and Rwanda.

Since its inception in 2014, the programme’s aim has been to enhance the productive potential of rural women by improving their access to and control over resources, services and opportunities. It also works to enable rural women to strengthen their voices in their households and communities, and it supports the creation of a policy environment that enables the economic empowerment of rural women.

More than 64 percent of Kyrgyz women live in rural areas. They are central to rural development and to the national economy in Kyrgyzstan. They account for a significant proportion of the agricultural labor force, play a key role in food production – especially in subsistence farming – and perform most of the unpaid care work in rural areas. However, fewer than 18 percent of Kyrgyz women head their own farms, and many rural women and girls have restricted access to productive resources such as land, agricultural inputs, finance and credit, extension services, and technology. This limits their productivity, and in turn the efficiency of the agricultural sector.

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