WomenAid International



The Silk Road is the oldest and probably most well known trading route in the world and has a history stretching back several thousand years.  The 7000 mile route spanned China, Central Asia, Northern India, through the Parthians  - to the present day countries of Iran, Iraq, Jordan and Syria.  Although the direction and scale of contact varied over the centuries it has always played a role as a 'connecting' bridge between Asia and Europe, serving as a fundamental link for exchanging cultures, crafts, ideas, technologies, and beliefs.

Apart from being a major trading route the Great Silk Road was of immeasurable significance in the establishment and maintenance of diplomatic relations.  Today there is a revival of the Silk Road Diplomacy as technological advances in information communication systems and networks speed up the process of globalisation and increasing interdependence.  The dynamic development of political, trade and economic relations needs strengthening if mutually advantageous partnerships are to develop between all States on the Silk Road.

Interdependence and globalisation has led to an awareness of the unarguable fact that no country, however powerful it may be in military and economic terms, can face alone the challenges that call in question the survival of the whole of mankind.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the consequent emergence of the five independent Central Asian republics of Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, Kazakstan, and Tajikistan, major efforts have been undertaken to revive the Silk Road for cultural exchange, trade and tourism. The President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Askar Akaev, has expressed the hope that it will be "possible to create conditions for the transformation of the entire region into an area of stability, security, friendship, co-operation and equitable partnership".

The modern day arms race, local conflicts, terrorism, narcotic criminal activity, natural disasters and urgent unmet social needs are major problems leading to increased awareness of the need to resolve chronic problems by peaceful negotiation.  The advantages offered by regional integration and co-operation are clear and as information infrastructures enable the region to access the world-wide computer networks, the power of information technology can be harnessed in support of the drive for economic stability and the development of business and civil society.

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 and in 1999 the U.S. Senate adopted a Silk Road Strategy Act.

According to U.S. Senator Sam Brownbeck who introduced the Bill to the Senate, "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.


WomenAid International, working in Silk Road countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus since 1994, has implemented humanitarian, development and reconstruction programmes during the years of great need and has remained in the region to develop programmes assisting vulnerable women and children.

The WomenAid Silk Road Stategy is designed to support disadvantaged women and children in Silk Road countries through projects that:
  • empower women through training and capacity building;
  • facilitate networking and information dissemination;
  • support civil society development initiatives and sustainable development;
  • establish microcredit groups;
  • promote human rights awareness and action against violence;
  • develop child well-being and women’s health projects;
  • professional training and skills update;
  • provide humanitarian aid.


The countries included in the WomenAid Silk Road Strategy are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, China, DPR Korea, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan as well as Afghanistan, northern India and the Balkans.


Within countries on the Great Silk Road trade routes some of the most disadvantaged women and children in the world are struggling to survive.  Through its Silk Road Strategy, WomenAid continues to work supportively in the region and is seeking funds for its programmes to assist women and children of the Silk Road - from China and Afghanistan to Palestine and the Balkans.
WomenAid International is helping to meet their needs.   You can help!

  Children of the Silk Road     Silk Road Women     Silk Road Internet Initiative     CaucasusNOW


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