Tadschikistan: Viloyat Mirzoyeva

In my life I try to follow the commandments of Mother Teresa: Despite everything, always do good to people.

— Viloyat Mirzoyeva

Viloyat Mirzoyeva (born 1952) heads the Women in Development Bureau and the NGO Gender and Development, both of which promote equal rights for women in society. She trains leaders of governmental and non-governmental women’s organizations. As a result of her work, hundreds of women are successfully working in various areas of society. She has helped Tajik women create NGOs that aim to solve gender problems in Tajikistan.

Head of the Women and Development Bureau (WID) and director of the association Gender and Development, Viloyat Mirzoyeva helps Tajik women find their place in political, economic, and social life through training and educational programs. “As a consequence of the civil war in Tajikistan, many men left the country to earn money. All difficulties lay on women’s shoulders. The desire to help women ensure their economic independence and the survival of their families, made me and my team make the first step forward,” Viloyat says. The WID Bureau and the Gender and Development organization have united their efforts in carrying out activities with one aim: increasing national awareness and women’s development in society. Both organizations envisage women’s involvement in the process of the social and cultural advancement of society, along with gender equality in all spheres of society, including political life. Initially, the WID Bureau worked through projects and programs that developed a credit scheme for widows who had lost their husbands during the war and their homes in the Vakhdat district, a locus of conflict in the country until 2001. Meetings with the women in each of the 28 settlements became the starting point of fruitful work. A learning center for 100 girls was established, where girls from remote districts of Tajikistan could study and learn leadership skills. The WID Bureau has promoted the emergence of civil society organizations and encouraged NGOs to work together to solve women’s problems. In the end, women’s organizations of Tajikistan have raised the country’s awareness of the need to achieve equality of women and their involvement in all spheres of public life.

Women in Development Bureau (WID) Gender and Development