WomenAid International


SILK ROAD internet initiative

The Silk Road has always been about connectivity and communication. The United States is actively promoting Silk Road development in recognition of the strategic importance of the countries encompassed within the Silk Road.  According to U.S. Senator Sam Brownbeck, "The Silk Road countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia are at an historic crossroad: they are independent, they are at the juncture of many of today's major world forces, they are rich in natural resources, and they are in the midst of nation building"  He indicated the best way to help create conditions for stability and growth is by promoting regional co-operation and partnership.  In 1999 The U.S. Senate adopted Senator Brownback's Silk Road Strategy Act.

In the words of a U.S. official, "A New Silk Road is being created that will serve as a 'superhighway' between Central Asia and Europe. The 21st Century Silk Road running through the Caucasus and beyond the Caspian with the proposed southern rail link to China will be a "superhighway built of both iron - and fibre optic cables."


The WomenAid International Silk Road Internet Initiative is a response to a 'participation gap' identified during current project implementation.  There is increasing global concern that the internet revolution could bypass women, creating a 'digital divide' and yet another obstacle for women to overcome.  After poverty and violence, the UN ranks technological access as the third most important issue facing women in poor countries.  The empowerment of women is acknowledged to be a vital component in the development of a just and equitable civil society.


This online community is a unique regional initiative supporting women's lobbying/advocacy work by accelerating networking and providing regional information gateways to Commerce, Health, Gender and Environment, sectors vital to the growth of civil society and democratisation, and which will be a push factor for change in all the countries in the Caucasus. 
Civil society networks provide new sources of information and statistics, a powerful tool for creating a culture of accountability; communities are 'enabled' and can mobilise changes in policy and behaviour.   Data helps turn silence into debate. 
The CaucasusNOW project, an Electronic Network Platform (ENP) and Donation Portal offering an OnLine Directory/Database, Link-Library, Information Gateways (Commerce, Health, Gender and Environment), issue/sector related eBulletins, eDialogue Groups and Regional Calendar, strengthens women’s organisations, enhances their funding opportunities and will improve communication, information exchange and dissemination of documents, databases, and bibliographies. 

CaucasusNOW will
  • Accelerate networking capability and global connectivity of women;
  • Facilitate idea and information exchange and fund-raising;
  • Support individual/institutional capacity building initiatives;
  • Encourage multi-sectoral collaboration, coalition and peace building measures.

Silk Road Strategy    Children of the Silk Road     Silk Road Women    CaucasusNOW


WOMENAID International 
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e-mail: womenaid@womenaid.org   Reg. charity No.  299224 
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