U.S. Sponsors Programs for Women in Europe and Eurasia

All American Patriots (press release), Sweden
Feb 15 2005

U.S. Sponsors Programs for Women in Europe and Eurasia
Fact sheet cites economic, sports, anti-trafficking, health care
14 February 2005

Following is a U.S. State Department fact sheet issued February 14
providing an outline of U.S. programs for women in Europe and

(begin fact sheet)

U.S. Department of State

Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues

Washington, DC

February 14, 2005



“I believe with all my power, when I go back to Kosovo, I will make a
change in my government.”

— Kosovar woman working in the municipal government after completing
a U.S.-supported Hope Fellowship training program on government.

The United States carries out and/or sponsors programs for women in
the region’s new and emerging democracies in the following key areas:
political participation and leadership training; promoting economic
opportunity through entrepreneurial training, microenterprise
development and access to credit; reducing domestic violence and
human trafficking by educating law enforcement officials, teachers,
social workers and the general public; and supporting healthcare with
training of healthcare workers and increasing women’s access to
health education and athletics. Some of the projects the U.S. has
implemented for women in the region include:

Political Participation and Civil Society Leadership Training. The
Hope Fellowship Program, funded by USAID, fosters leadership skills
for qualified women from Kosovo and offers women internships in the
United States. In November-December 2004, eight Hope Fellows
participated in a two-month program at U.S. governmental
organizations to gain leadership, technical and practical skills to
apply to their own work in rebuilding Kosovo. To date, a total of 70
women from Kosovo have graduated from the Hope Fellowship program. In
Georgia, women participated in a women’s leadership program funded by
the Freedom Support Act. In 2004, the Bureau of Educational and
Cultural Affairs (ECA) awarded a grant to Kent State University to
conduct a women’s leadership exchange program between the United
States and Southeastern Turkey. The project includes seminars in Ohio
and Turkey on leadership skill-building, decision-making and conflict

Legal Reform. With U.S. support, the Women’s Consortium of
Non-Governmental Associations (made up of more than 110 organizations
from 42 regions of Russia) worked in close collaboration with the
State Duma Committees to develop the draft law “On State Guarantees
of Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in the
Russian Federation,” which had its first reading in the Duma in April

Women in Politics. Three women parliamentarians from Turkey
participated in a three week International Visitor Leadership Program
on “Women in U.S. Politics,” September 2004. The program was designed
to broaden their understanding of 1) how women can enter politics
from the business sector, education, grassroots organizations, and
volunteerism; and 2) the role of women’s organizations in shaping
political dialogue and developing and electing candidates.

Networking. In 2003, with help from the United States, more than 100
women in the Radusa community of The Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia organized their own first-ever meeting to voice their
concerns and identify priorities for their community. Their efforts
resulted in an agreement to reconstruct a pedestrian bridge leading
to the village’s only elementary school.

Economic Opportunity

Public-Private Partnerships. Fifty women business owners from small-
and medium-sized enterprises from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia,
Finland, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus joined 50 U.S. women business
leaders at the Riga Women Business Leaders Summit in Riga, Latvia
September 2004. The Summit’s aim was to help build economic
relationships between the Baltic States, their neighbors, and the
United States. The U.S. Embassy in Riga and the Latvian President
Vaira Vike-Freiberga hosted the Summit, a successor to the 2002
Helsinki Women Business Leaders Summit that former U.S. Ambassador to
Finland Bonnie McElveen-Hunter and U.S. businesswoman founded
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For the second portion of the Riga Summit, the women traveled to the
United States in December 2004 to attend a conference at Georgetown
University to continue their partnerships, exchange business best
practices and build management skills.

Entrepreneurial Training. With U.S. funding, the Public Organization
on Support of Entrepreneurship, Women of Vision, and the
Non-Commercial Partnership Siberian Educational Consulting Center are
building a network of women across the Russian Far East to advocate
for women’s rights. The project will create awareness of women’s
issues, develop leadership skills, and foster regional,
inter-cultural, and international exchanges. In October 2003, the
United States made it possible for eight women from the Women’s
Training Center in Estonia to attend an international conference in
St. Petersburg that helped women formulate strategies for achieving
equality in practice. In Bulgaria, the United States funded 8 courses
in shoe-making and sewing for 80 socially disadvantaged Roma women
from the town of Dupnitsa and the suburb of Krainitsi. Each graduate
will receive job placement in local factories.

Microenterprise Development. For several decades, the United States
has been helping the poor — who depend on microenterprises for their
survival — to gain access to capital, information, inputs,
technologies, and markets. Women are major beneficiaries of
microloans. In Azerbaijan, Mercy Corps is raising the incomes of
rural women microentrepreneurs by making available high quality and
reasonably priced veterinary and animal husbandry services for
livestock and poultry. Such programs also help veterinarians expand
their client base and improve their ability to diagnose and treat.

Credit Access. Sponsored by ECA, Elmir Ismayilov of Azerbaijan is a
“Contemporary Issues Fellow” at the University of Michigan. In
Azerbaijan, he helped develop local credit mechanisms for women.
Today, in his work as a community development officer with a
nonprofit agency, Ismayilov has helped financial institutions to
revise lending methodologies, conduct outreach to women, and
implement post loan trainings to minimize delinquency and business
failure among women. The establishment of creditworthiness among
women has laid a foundation for future access to funding and services
from commercial financial institutions.

Business Development. Eight women business leaders and entrepreneurs
from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Latvia, Norway, Romania, and
Switzerland participated in a 3-week European Regional International
Visitor Leadership Program on “Business Development Issues for Women
Business Leaders” in June 2004. Their program provided practical
insights into initiatives that promote the development of women
business owners; introduced federal, state, and local policies
designed to advance women’s prominence in business leadership; and
provided opportunities for visitors to meet with women business
leaders and owners in a variety of contexts throughout the United
States, and who shared personal success stories and challenges.

Combating Domestic Violence

Training and Crisis Centers. A United States-sponsored program for
2003-04 trained between roughly 150 civil servants, medical workers,
educators, and law-enforcement officers on how to combat domestic
violence in Russia. The project promotes cooperation among NGOs and
Russian state agencies on the prevention of family violence. The
United States also is assisting one of Russia’s oldest crisis centers
to update and improve its statistical database on domestic violence.
Access to this resource by lawyers and legal aid clinics will improve
legal services for victims of domestic violence. Twelve women’s
organizations and crisis centers will receive a user’s manual with a
description of typical cases and recommended courses of action. Four
centers will be trained directly on how to use and update the

Anti-Trafficking Efforts

Raising Awareness of Trafficking. In Estonia, the United States has
provided resources to the public library at the Estonian Women’s
Studies and Resource Center to educate police and border guard
officials, youth workers, social workers, teachers, and vocational
counselors about the causes and consequences of prostitution and
trafficking in women. In Albania, the U.S. Embassy Tirana’s Democracy
Commission Small Grants Program supported the production of a short
drama by high school students depicting the tragedy of human
trafficking. Written by a prominent Albanian author, the play
addressed a range of issues associated with trafficking in persons.

Trafficking Prevention Centers. In Ukraine, the United States funded
seven women’s trafficking prevention centers (TPC). The TPCs have
hotlines and offer referral services for health, legal, and
psychological counseling. The Trafficking Prevention Program works
with Ukrainian women’s NGOs to provide job skills training, legal
consulting services, and a public education campaign. Since 1998,
44,850 women have received consultations or job skills training;
5,040 women have found work or received a promotion due to the
training program; 176 businesses have been created; and 26,149 women
completed trafficking prevention or domestic violence awareness

Law Enforcement/Training. With U.S. support, the Women’s Rights
Center in Yerevan, Armenia, conducted 16 training sessions on
domestic violence and 14 sessions on trafficking in women for 225
professionals from law-enforcement, government, NGOs, teachers,
doctors, journalists, and psychologists between October 2002 and June
2003. The Center publishes a newsletter on women’s issues and
broadcasts TV and radio programs on the prevention of trafficking in
persons and domestic violence against women. Two members of the
Armenian Government’s Interagency Group To Combat Trafficking visited
the United States for further training; they had an opportunity to
develop concrete approaches to combating trafficking. In Romania, the
Regional Anti-Trafficking Best Practice Manual is the culmination of
an intensive 2-year cooperation among the U.S., the UN Development
Program (UNDP), and Romania’s Ministry of Administration and the
Interior. Written for border police officers, specialized police
units, and prosecutors, the manual was officially adopted by the UN
Office on Drugs and Crime at the regional law enforcement senior
officials meeting in Vienna in December 2003.

Legal Reform. In July 2004, five representatives from the Finnish
Parliament, Ministries, and NGO’s participated in a 1-week Voluntary
Visitor Program in Washington, DC, and Atlanta, Georgia, focusing on
U.S. Governmental and non-governmental efforts in combating
trafficking and assisting victims. The program gave the participants
the opportunity to learn about U.S. legislation and strategies and
NGOs’ efforts in victim identification and assistance. It prepared
them with models and ideas to help implement Finland’s new
anti-trafficking program. ECA also awarded grants in FY 2003 for
anti-trafficking programs in Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia and Montenegro. These
exchanges targeted representatives from NGOs and government agencies
and their efforts to draft new laws and legislation to address
anti-trafficking efforts in their countries.


New Medical Equipment. The U.S. Government donated $500,000 in
equipment and supplies to Uzbekistan to help continue to improve
healthcare for women and children. New medical equipment will help
twelve central hospitals, two maternity houses and selected rural
medical points in the regions of Kashkadarya and Surkhandarya to
Training programs on the new equipment will ensure that maternity
wards and pediatric departments provide better care for their

Training. In 2003, the United States brought maternal and child
healthcare experts from Russia to demonstrate how the U.S. healthcare
system in works to assure a healthy pregnancies, deliveries, and
early childhoods. Participants became familiar with models of healthy
lifestyles, childbirth education, and family-centered maternity care.
The United States also helped train volunteers from the blind female
community in Vladivostok, so they could provide psychological support
to other visually impaired women and programs aimed at integrating
blind women into community life. In addition, the project worked to
create networks between organizations serving the blind and other
women’s NGOs in Vladivostok.

Education and Information. As part of a series of events on breast
cancer, Kathy Pardew, wife of the U.S. Ambassador, hosted a book
launch at the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, in October 2003. The
book, “Ask the Doctor: Breast Cancer” by Dr. V. Friedewald and Dr.
A.U. Buzdar, was translated into Bulgarian by the embassy. Several
dozen Bulgarian physicians, breast cancer survivors, and breast
cancer activists attended the event, which was covered by the
Bulgarian press. Speakers highlighted the changing public attitudes
toward cancer and the importance of building networks among patient
groups, women leaders, journalists, and doctors.


Management Training. In April 2003, a delegation from the Ministry of
Youth and Sports of Kosovo undertook a week-long Voluntary Visitor
program in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. on how to
organize, recruit, fund, and manage girls/women’s sports teams —
specifically soccer — and the role that government, business, and
private citizens play in managing and funding sports leagues. With
very few organized sports teams for youth and none for girls, the
officials hope to promote sports as a beneficial activity for girls.
The development of sports programs for women and girls can have a
positive effect on women’s lives.

(end fact sheet)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs,
U.S. Department of State. Web site: )