Women Empowerment Day Held at Webster Tashkent
March 15, 2022
On March 11, the Student Affairs department at Webster University in Tashkent held its second Women Empowerment Day. The event is organized annually close to International Women’s Rights Day for the female students on campus. This year, it included a workshop from the campus wellness counselor on self-actualization, a dance class, and an art therapy session. Around 50 students joined for three hours of fun, community-building, and reflection.
The main organizer was Kamola Shukurova, campus student affairs officer, who said that her goal is to create opportunities for women to feel empowered in Uzbekistan. “I wanted to encourage young women around us, inspire them to believe in themselves and be able to imagine their potential,” said Shukurova. She organized the first Women Empowerment Project event in 2021 and is making sure to progressively build up on it. “Last year the focus was to inspire the girls of WUT with real life experiences of our staff and faculty, thus showing that ‘superwomen’ are all around us. This year I wanted to go deeper.”
This year participants were offered the chance to look into themselves, then shake it off during a dance class. They finished the day by thinking about their goals and visualizing them.
The main value for me was the freedom of expressing yourself the way you feel comfortable."
As Shukurova said, “girls supporting girls” is the underlying concept. One of the participants, Azalia Khakimova, mirrored the sentiment in an email interview, saying that “sometimes, a company of young women with one general idea can inspire every girl to do something more.”
Farzona Niyozmetova, another participant, said that in her opinion, the event helped young women think about their own capabilities: “Let them know about their abilities, show them their [potential] and how many opportunities they have to create a bright future.”
The self-actualization workshop, lead by Javad Afandiyev, campus wellness counselor, made an impact. “I began to look at my abilities differently, and I began to look at and understand my feelings differently,” said event participant Narine Babayan, after the workshop.
I wanted to encourage young women around us, inspire them to believe in themselves and be able to imagine their potential.”
Several of the attendees stated that their favorite part of the day was the art therapy session, lead by specialists from a local craft school. Ikbola Akhmedova shared that it helped her “get rid of internal negativity and just relax with friends.”
The atmosphere at Women Empowerment Day was friendly and accepting, reflecting what another participant, Siverina Davranova, took from the experience. “The main value for me was the freedom of expressing yourself the way you feel comfortable,” said Davranova.
Her fellow attendee, Azalia Khakimova, shared her impression of the day as well. "During the event, I noticed so many happy and excited faces, and each activity made participants sincerely smile and rediscover themselves,” said Khakimova.
Shukurova expects to continue the Women Empowerment Project in years to come. "We are planning to increase the scale of impact, work with bigger organizations," said Shukurova. "The Project will continue to inspire, support, and help our girls to find themselves by creating opportunities to network and to grow.”