Tajik Women Hampered by Credit Crunch
Encouraging women to start small businesses is seen as an effective way of generating incomes, reducing poverty and ultimately building a middle class in Tajikistan. But experts agree that it is still too hard for them to take out loans to get started.
More often than not, “private enterprise” means market trading, which is unlikely ever to reap big rewards given that profit margins are so narrow.
Traders in Badakhshan find it especially hard to get start-up funding because there are few loan facilities accessible to them.
Microcredit systems could ease the way for women hoping to start up in trade, but these are not widely available.
Instead, female traders often borrow privately at exorbitant rates of interest. Even when they do take out bank loans, the process is bureaucratic, the interest rates are still high, and they are constantly vulnerable to losing everything due to circumstances beyond their control.
Sadunsho Janobalisho is an IWPR-trained radio reporter in Tajikistan.
The audio programme, in Russian, went out on national radio stations in Tajikistan, as part of IWPR project work funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If you would like to comment or ask a question about this story, please contact our Central Asia editorial team at email@example.com.