Districts of Cahul and Ungheni – future champions in promoting gender equality

In 2020, UN Women Moldova, in partnership with UNICEF, began implementing the EVA project – ‘Promoting Gender Equality in Cahul and Ungheni Districts’, funded by the European Union. The project has two major objectives: promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment by mainstreaming gender in local public policies and by combating domestic violence against women and children. The EVA Project is to be implemented in 12 settlements across Cahul and Ungheni districts until December 2022.

Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2020

  • Street Art workshop with youth from Cahul. Credit: UN Women Moldova/ Aurel Obreja

Women in Moldova come across gender inequalities in multiple areas: employment discrimination, lower wages compared to men’s for similar work, limited opportunities of access to politics, and appointment in decision-making positions.[i] According to statistics, women and children become domestic violence victims much more often than men.[ii] Detecting, resolving and preventing such cases of violence is particularly cumbersome because of gender stereotypes that persist in the society.


At local level, the specific priorities and needs of women and children are unknown and thus they rarely reach the top of authorities’ agenda upon the drafting of budgets or of development plans, or upon making decisions. Domestic and gender-based violence are often addressed insufficiently, and the members of multidisciplinary teams encounter a number of limitations that weaken the effective and coordinated response to cases of violence.[iii] These factors, together with gender stereotypes in the community and low trust in public services, discourage women and children from reporting violence.

Providing equal opportunities to women and men and observing the integrity of women and children determine directly the quality of life and well-being of the society. The EVA project ‘Promoting gender equality in Cahul and Ungheni districts’ pursues finding solutions for achieving these goals in Cahul and Ungheni districts.

The EVA Project has a budget of EUR 5,250,000 for the implementation of the established measures. EUR 5 million of that amount were provided by the European Union, while EUR 250,000 – by UN Women.

As many as 12 partner settlements were selected from the districts of Cahul and Ungheni for a start.

The solutions implemented by the EVA Project in the two districts will trigger a set of changes in gender equality and in combating domestic and gender-based violence:

  • Women in Cahul and Ungheni will get more actively involved in local and regional decision-making.
  • Civil society organisations, media institutions and the general public will gain a better understanding of the importance of ensuring gender equality for the sustainable development and well-being of the whole community.
  • Local public authorities will include the priorities and the special/specific needs of women and children in the local and district-level budgeting and decision-making. They will launch the initiative meant to encourage women’s participation in the political, economic and social life of the settlements. The European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life will be used as a benchmark.
  • Multidisciplinary teams will be more effective in preventing violence and providing assistance to victims of domestic and gender-based violence.
  • A specialised service will be set up to support victims of sexual violence, on the basis of the example and good practices of the European Union Member States.
  • Service providers will improve data collection mechanisms and act more effectively in combating cases of violence against women and children.
  • Programs centred on preventing gender-based violence and breaking gender stereotypes, based on local and European good practice, will be piloted in schools and communities.

Under the EVA Project, collaboration will be established with local public authorities, members of multidisciplinary teams responsible for preventing and combating domestic violence, service providers working with victims of domestic violence and in child protection, assistance and counseling services for aggressors, schools, civil society organisations, mass media, and also with the inhabitants of the 12 settlements.

The detailed description of the project can be found here.

For more information about the EVA Project, contact the project manager – Polina Panainte (polina.panainte@unwomen.org).

[i] According to the data of the National Bureau of Statistics.

[ii] The Statistical Report ‘Domestic Violence 2018’ of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection highlighted that 92 percent of the registered victims of domestic violence were women.

[iii] According to the study entitled ‘Assessment into the functionality of multidisciplinary teams in cases of domestic violence in 12 communities in Ungheni and Cahul districts’, developed by ‘SocioPolis’ Research and Consulting Centre at the initiative of UN Women and UNICEF, under the EVA Project ‘Promoting Gender Equality in Cahul and Ungheni Districts’, funded by the European Union and co-funded by UN Women