Project report: women - guardians of the hearth

Grantee: MIR – Office for Initiatives Development, Tajikistan 
Project: “Women’s joint work – effective foundation for preventing domestic violence”

For Tajik society, family is the main school of life, since it helps form family members’ ideology and the relationships between people. Family life shapes how humans represent themselves in society. 

Muazzamkhon Nazirova, one of the active women in Surkh jamoat, Isfara city, has been making her contribution to life in the community for more than 30 years. Thanks to her, many of her students, including girls, have received an education. 

Photo: Nodira Yakubova 

Currently, girls in rural communities tend to be married early; often when they leave school after the ninth grade.  

I received a higher education, and I try to help the girls in my village complete school and go to university. I believe that if a girl gets a higher education and works, she will be able to make a worthy contribution to the development of her community,” says Muazzamkhon Nazirova.

Muazzamkhon has held various positions in public service: she was deputy chairman of Surkh jamoat for several years and is currently Director of school # 29 and head of the women’s council in Surkh jamoat. All these years, alongside her main work, Muazzamkhon has continued teaching, as the upbringing of the younger generation is extremely important to her. In her village of Surkh, as a member of the Women Leaders’ Association, she works a lot on family conciliation. According to her, this year, as the borders were closed due to COVID 19, all family members were at home, while labour migrants could not return to, or send money to support their families. These factors have led to an increase in family conflicts, and in cases of domestic violence, which in turn require a lot of work with families.  

Muazzamkhon’s husband, Mamayunus, also received a higher education and now works in business. He always supports his wife, primarily advising Muazzamkhon on her business.  

Photo: N. Yakubova 

Muazzamkhon is one of the active members of the Women Leaders’ Association “Zanoni Sulhovar” in Isfara district, Surkh jamoat. The Women Leaders’ Association is highly active in the community. Muazzamkhon organised and hosted many educational events, and economic initiatives to increase the participation of rural young girls and women in decision-making around domestic violence. One of the initiatives undertaken by the Women Leaders’ Association of Surkh jamoat in 2020 was the organisation of short-term cookery classes for 12 women and girls who had experienced domestic violence (within the project “Women’s joint work – effective foundation for preventing domestic violence”, implemented with financial support from the BEARR Trust’s Small Grants Scheme).

Economic opportunities for women and young girls give them an 
opportunity to fulfill their personality and gain additional life skills” – explained cooking trainer M. Boqieva, a member of Women Leaders’ Association. 

Photo: N. Yakubova

Ehkonova Ruhsora, 38 years old and a housewife from Surkh jamoat, Surkh village:

After these classes, I have already begun to earn money and bring income to my family. I started by baking samosas - patties with meat inside – and flatbreads at home, and my husband and son took them to sell at the local market. Currently we sell 100-200 samosas and more than 10 flatbread Gulfatirs per day. We signed a contract with a store located not far from my home to sell prepared bakery products in store”.

Our heroine, Muazzamkhon, believes that women’s education plays a significant role in life and helps you to face the ups and downs of life. An educated woman makes a valuable contribution to improving the life of her family and community.  

Nodira Yakubova 
Journalist, blogger and consultant for MIR – Office for Initiatives Development

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