WORKING WITH FAMILIES TO SUPPORT WOMEN IN TAJIKISTAN
Your complete source on everything Zindagii Shoista! Our goal is to make all materials on a programme easily accessible in one place. If you are aware of additional resources, please contact us.
Zindagii Shoista (Living with Dignity) was designed to prevent violence against women and girls in Tajikistan. The programme combined gender-transformative, behaviour-change, and livelihoods-strengthening components to shift attitudes and behaviours at the individual and household levels. Significantly, Zindagii Shoista supported women’s economic and social empowerment by engaging their entire extended families.
The programme had two components:
- A 10-session participatory training curriculum for families on gender norms, relationship skills, and violence prevention
- Economic empowerment through a 10-session participatory curriculum for men and women on livelihoods-strengthening and financial management skills, as well as income-generating activities
A mixed-method interrupted time series evaluation found that Zindagii Shoista led to a decrease in intimate partner violence, as reported by both women and men. The programme also reduced food insecurity and depression among women and increased gender-equitable attitudes.
Zindagii Shoista was implemented by International Alert, Cesvi, ATO, Farodis, and Zanoni Sharq. The curriculum portion was an adaptation of the Stepping Stones and Creating Futures programme in South Africa. If you want to adapt the programme, we strongly recommend that you contact them first. The programme was funded by the UK Department for International Development as part of the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls Programme.
- In highly patriarchal cultures where young women marry into extended families, it is important to engage entire families rather than focus solely on the woman.
- With extensive formative research, established intimate partner violence prevention and economic empowerment programmes can be successfully adapted to other contexts. Formative research can help reveal culturally suitable ways to engage men and women in intervention activities.
- Careful selection and training of local implementing partners is key to achieving positive outcomes, as is cultivating buy-in from local authorities and other stakeholders.
- Local implementing partners played a significant role in supporting the participants’ income-generating activities, which required a large investment of time and resources. This must be kept in mind when scaling up the intervention.
“WHEN I SEE EDUCATED PEOPLE I REGRET THAT MY PARENTS COULD NOT EDUCATE ME. AFTER THE PROJECT SESSIONS THE WAY MY HUSBAND AND MOTHER-IN-LAW RELATE TO ME HAS CHANGED. I FOUND A JOB IN A BATHHOUSE AS A CLEANER. MY HUSBAND AND MY MOTHER-IN-LAW ARE NOT AGAINST MY WORK, ALTHOUGH BEFORE THEY WERE OPPOSED TO THIS IDEA. MY MOTHER-IN-LAW SAYS THAT I CAN WORK AND SHE WILL LOOK AFTER MY KIDS. MY MOTHER-IN-LAW NOW SUPPORTS ME; WHENEVER I GO TO WORK, SHE TAKES CARE OF MY CHILDREN, HELPS WITH DAILY CHORES. MY HUSBAND SUPPORTS ME TOO. MY BEHAVIOUR HAS CHANGED TOO. I HAVE HEARD IT FROM MY MOTHER, HUSBAND AND MOTHER-IN-LAW. I BECAME MORE BRAVE AND LIVELY AND HAVE A VISION FOR MY FUTURE.”
YOUNG WOMAN, AT THE END OF THE PROGRAMME