HIV: Living behind a disguise

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Filed under: Health HIV Social inclusion

In many ways Sherzhod is the face of Uzbekistan’s younger generation. He is a tech-savvy 22-year-old with big plans for the future, ideally with a career in medicine.  Like many of his peers in Uzbekistan, he wants to get married and start a family, but for now his goal is to pursue his career and… Read more »

A ‘bad girl’ no longer: Tackling gender inequality in Azerbaijan

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Filed under: Development Gender equality Social inclusion

In Azerbaijan, especially in rural areas, there exists a very powerful term for women who don’t follow the rules: ‘pis giz’ – or bad girl. For an Azerbaijani woman, being called a pis giz is more than just a gender slur. It can mean the total loss of respect in her community, ineligibility for marriage,… Read more »

Roma women: Exposing inequality

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Filed under: Gender equality Health Poverty Roma Social inclusion

Since its early days, the Decade of Roma Inclusion has focused primarily on four priority areas: employment, education, health and housing. Even though gender equality is a cross-cutting issue, attention to this area has been significantly smaller throughout the years. Usually, gender equality is treated as an isolated category, rather than a social factor that… Read more »

No more “I can’t see the board!”: Modernizing lighting in Kazakhstan schools

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Filed under: Central Asia Environment Social inclusion

Chances are, lighting is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about what children need to learn. But without proper lighting, struggling to see the chalkboard means you can’t focus on learning. The state norms and standards of the Republic of Kazakhstan state that the lighting norm for a school study… Read more »

The development story behind the MDGs: Seeing the forest beyond the trees

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Filed under: Development Gender equality Migration and remittances Poverty

What do people in Chişinău say they need for a better life? Of course we need to closely follow the progress of each Millennium Development Goal (MDG), but have you ever thought: What is the development story behind the MDGs in various national contexts? The importance of such a development story goes beyond even ‘passing… Read more »

A chat about transgender issues, human rights and living in a kinder world

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Filed under: Gender equality Governance Health HIV Human rights Social inclusion

Today, on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, I would like to introduce you to Kirill Sabir, head of the FtM Phoenix Group and supporter and former board member of the Eurasian Coalition on Male Health (Follow them on Twitter: @ECOM_MSM) I had the privilege to talk to Kirill, an activist and advocate for… Read more »

Infographics: Education gap between women and men in Uzbekistan

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Filed under: Central Asia Development Gender equality Social inclusion

I’m happy to share the first infographic on gender equality developed by UNDP in Uzbekistan. It is based on a policy brief (in Russian) on gender equality and employment prepared for a project with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population . The research provided a lot of interesting data, which we decided to capture in one infographic… Read more »

Rebuilding kindergartens in the devastated Aral Sea region

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Filed under: Central Asia Development Disaster response Environment Poverty Social inclusion

Kindergarten literally translates to “children’s garden.” Friedrich Fröbel, who created the very first kindergarten in 1837, felt that children should be taken care of and nourished like plants in a garden. Fröbel’s aim was to create a social experience for young children to bridge the transition from home to school. But do children everywhere get… Read more »