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Living in a country where patriarchy is deeply entrenched, Nazokat Begmatova, a 34-year old women from a village in southern Tajikistan took an unusual professional path as a humanitarian deminer. Delaying marriage and strapping on 25 kilograms of equipment on her body daily, she broke stereotypes of what a working woman looks like. Her desire to be active, to develop her personal skills and explore more opportunities for economic independence motivated her to overcome her immense fear of mines. She now works as part of an all-female demining team.
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Kurbongul Kosimova established the first long-term shelter for women survivors of violence from the conflict as well as domestic violence, and their children. Her organization also supports survivors by forming sustainable self-help groups.
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A commitment was made by Prime Minister Abe and the government of Japan to advance women’s position in society at the recently held World Assembly for Women (WAW) in Tokyo. At the high-profile meeting he reaffirmed his commitment to spend nearly 3 billion US dollars on women’s empowerment initiatives over the next three years. Outlining the importance of equal rights of all citizens to education and health, he called upon all participants in the event to proceed in “creating a society where women will shine.”