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Standing Up for Gender Equality Through Online Volunteering

Each year, starting from 25 November, we mark 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence. Witnessing a severe gender disparity, UN Women in Tajikistan is working towards achieving gender equality, setting global standards and ensuring that each and every woman and girl benefit from them. To support their cause, two Online Volunteers engaged through UNV collaborated with UN Women, bringing additional resources to the team.

In 2022, UN Women conducted an ethnographic review of harmful social norms and practices and support for mass advocacy initiatives to prevent violence against women and girls in the country. This mapped both harmful and positive practices, attitudes and behaviours that influence violence against women and girls.

Traditional gender roles affect every aspect of our daily lives, from relationships we build to our occupations, from our body language to garment choices, from household chores to social restrictions. This disparity results in reducing women’s participation in education, social life, livelihood activities and increasing the possibility of violence against women and girls.

UN Women engaged Online Volunteers to extract valuable insights from the research, develop and disseminate key messages to a larger audience via social media channels in Russian and English and raise awareness in rural and urban settings. Two Online Volunteers, Katya Prikhodko and Tiegan Hill, stepped up for this task and stood out with their backgrounds and dedication.

Online volunteering is a unique opportunity for both volunteers and UN entities to collaborate and jointly promote UN principles and standards. Online volunteering opportunities are an excellent way for volunteers to use their free time, professional expertise, and individual talents. –Vasila Kholimova, National Programme Assistant with UN Women, Tajikistan

A few years ago, Katya felt the need to change her career path in the corporate world and decided to contribute meaningfully with non-profit organizations. Since then, with her marketing background, Katya has been supporting many projects, some of them centred around gender.

Aligning with the project’s goals by holding a digital marketing diploma, Tiegan offered her skills to UN Women. Both Katya and Tiegan designed social media content showcasing research outcomes around social norms, early marriage, reproductive health, referral mechanisms and prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

For me, volunteering has been a truly transformative experience, reshaping my outlook on life on many levels. It’s such an accessible way to make a meaningful impact on your community and society as a whole, and I dream of witnessing more individuals embracing this chance to create change. –Katya Prikhodko, Online Volunteer with UN Women Tajikistan

Vasila Kholimova, National Programme Assistant with UN Women Tajikistan, interacted with Katya and Tiegan directly and observed the designing process from scratch. Sensitive subjects such as gender-based violence, domestic work and reproductive health could be challenging for some. However, Vasila highlighted the dedication during the realization of the tasks.  

The selected Online Volunteers proved, and even exceeded, our expectations. The tasks were completed with great commitment, professionalism and at the highest level. –Vasila Kholimova, National Programme Assistant with UN Women, Tajikistan

Source: UN Volunteers