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PFP Alumna, Nighina Azizov, Organizes the First Listening Tour for Women in Moldova

April, 16 2017

From March, 30 to April 5, 2017, Nigina Azizov, PFP Alumna (Fall 2016 Cohort) implemented her outbound project entitled "Dare to Share!" She received the support of the supervisors she had worked with during her internship in the US: Mrs. Judith Vaughan-Prather, Maryland Commission for Women Executive Director, and Mrs. Yun Jung Yang, Esq., Co-Chair Voices of Maryland Women Listening Tour; in turning all her plans to action. They travelled to Moldova and shared their expertise related to women's issues with Moldovan people.

During their visit, Mrs. Vaughan-Prather and Mrs. Yang participated in a variety of events, meetings, round tables and in a public lesson at the Moldova State University, during which around 40 students and 5 university lecturers got involved.

The highlight of the project was the Listening Tour "Voices of Moldovan Women" Speak to US. Nighina was inspired to organize this event while in the US, by the Listening Tour which the Maryland Commission for Women conducts. It includes a series of public forums around the Maryland state during which the women from different communities are encouraged to speak about their worries. The end product of the Listening Tour is a report that is presented to the Governor, the Legislature on the concerns of the women of Maryland and a recommended policy agenda for addressing those issues.
So Nighina decided to bring this wonderful idea across the ocean, all the way to Moldova. She organized the pilot of the project in Puhoi Village, Ialoveni district.

We had about 60 participants and identified 5 issues/challenges that women in the community are facing: ecological education; alternative services for mothers and kids, especially during the weekends; low salaries and limited health services; domestic violence and the limited number of women in decision making. Based on the results of the Listening Tour, I will send a report to the mayor, to the head of the district and to the Parliament in order to translate all these concerns into decisions, policies or pieces of legislation.

The women who attended the event seemed reluctant and not ready to share at the beginning, but then they opened up and found the courage to speak up about their anxieties. The Listening Tour was a big success and mayors of other communities expressed their willingness to have a similar event in their regions.

Nighina is eager to bring the Listening Tour all over the country so that all the women of Moldova get the chance to speak, feel that they are heard and that people care about what they have to say.

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American Councils for International Education is pleased to announce that Fall 2018 Professional Fellows Program application is open now through March 30th, 2018. Apply to become a #profellow on a fully-funded, six-week legislative #fellowship in the US! Applicants must be aged 25-35, work in public sector or NGOs, and citizens of Moldova. Don't delay, apply now at: https://ais.americancouncils.org/pfp
Fellows from Moldova arrived in Washington D.C. for a three day pre-orientation session.