Tag Archive | "kyrgyzstan"

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Day of Action: Let’s stop sexual and gender-based violence against women and children!

Posted on 30 May 2013 by

Gulbarchyn Jumabaevа of WLP Kyrgyzstan shares photos and an update on the local day of activism against sexual and gender-based violence.


WLP Kyrgyzstan/Bir Duino Kyrgystan and civil society activists, representatives from women’s NGOs, and youth activists rallied today under the slogan: “Let’s stop sexual and gender-based violence against women and children!”

Each year the number of women and children facing violence in Kyrgyztsan increases, and the violence reported is more devastating in scale and form.

According to the Center for Assistance to Children, in the first quarter of 2013 they have already worked with 13 cases of child victims of sexual abuse. In 2011-2012 they worked with 254 children, 34 of which were victims of sexual abuse. And these figured merely represent the small portion of the population the Center is able to work with. According to an informal survey of doctors at a local children’s hospital 3-7 children are treated for injuries related to sexual assault each month.

The General Prosecutors Office reports that in 2011 there were 22 cases of domestic violence related suicides.

WLP Kyrgyzstan feels the hour has come when the whole community must say NO to violence against children and women, to demand the authorities take strong and effective measures and steps to improve the situation.

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WLP Central Asia Regional Training – An Indescribable Experience

Posted on 16 May 2013 by

WLP guest-author, Bahriniso Shamsieva, is a Mine Action Project Assistant for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Tajikistan Office and also an activist with local NGO Marriage and the Family. She joined women from Kazakhstan,  Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan at the WLP Central Asia Regional Training of Trainers Institute on Women’s Leadership and Political Participation in Shymkent, Kazakhstan this April as a participant. Bahriniso shares her reflections from the training below.


Dear sister! I want to share my impressions on the WLP leadership training seminar in Shymkent, Kazakhstan. I have the most vivid and warm memories of the event, because it was an amazing opportunity to meet with so many unique women—both from neighboring Central Asian countries as well as from abroad. I realized that women around the world have shared vision for the world and our problems are very similar. And we can all easily understand each other and support each other. WLP as an organization is using their knowledge and experience to help us to unite and support each other.

Personally, working with these wise and active women who share similar passions, brought me great happiness and pleasure. Meeting with politician trainers— such as Asma Khader and other no-less inspiring women leaders— face-to-face, hearing them speak, and learning so much from them was an indescribable experience.

There were three of us women from Tajikistan at this Institute, and we were so pleased to have this opportunity. At this time, Tajik women are in need of such leadership trainings, as these trainings may help change their mentality and help them realize their place and significance, and find the strength to become more active in the personal and public arenas. While many of the preconditions for this kind of change are in place in our country, women still do not use their full potential and are not very active in politics and public life.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the organizers of this workshop training on behalf of the Tajik delegation and myself personally for inviting us and for this opportunity!

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Reflections from WLP Central Asia Regional Institute

Posted on 10 May 2013 by

WLP guest-author, Saida Arifkhanova, is trainer and facilitator for journalists with twenty years of experience and a public relations specialist in Uzbekistan. She joined women from Kazakhstan,  Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan at the WLP Central Asia Regional Training of Trainers Institute on Women’s Leadership and Political Participation in Shymkent, Kazakhstan this April as a participant. Saida shares her reflections from the training below.

Saida Blog Post

This training made a very unique impression on me. The participants of this training were beautiful and stylish women, possessing strong character and leadership qualities. Participants were instantly happy to see each other and it was clear that something invisible united them. In all, there were women from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. And there were the four of us—women from Tashkent— representing Uzbekistan.

Gradually, I learned more about those who took part in the training and realized that each of these women has a unique position, and that each is successfully serving her community. Many participants work on issues such as human rights, women’s rights, and protecting women from abuse. I could sense their resolve to act decisively to achieve social change. I could also tell that these women held harmony and calm in their hearts, so when I heard about the struggles they faced everyday in their work I felt confused.

So, I asked many of the women if they were happy. At first my direct question seemed strange to them, and they did not answer me directly. Yet, as the days went by we began to communicate more closely, and many of the women came up to me and began talking to me. Gradually, our communication became more intimate and heartfelt.

I learned that each woman has a complex history behind her—the story of what pushed them to dedicate their lives to creating change. For some, that pivotal event was the experience of an ancient tradition of custom—for example bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan or norms that deny women a voice and a vote, and confine her to her role in her family. Some of what I heard was new to me, as I grew up in a family where my parents always discussed issues openly and made decisions together.

Some of the participants shared first-hand accounts of recent conflict in Kyrgyzstan and human rights abuses. As they shared their experiences and their stories, I realized that these women are making history and that each hard won freedom gives them personal strength and inspiration. So many of these life stories were piercing and unique. I began to see clearly that all of our women from Uzbekistan possess the same features and abilities as our peers in other Central Asian countries, but we have been completely overwhelmed by the need to maintain stability in our country.

During this training it became obvious that our countries are no longer as  similar to one another as they had been before and our realities are quite different today. Tajikistan has experienced a war, Kyrgyzstan has been through two revolutions and many difficulties, Kazakhstan is still overcoming the sharp shock of transition, and Turkmenistan faced leadership transition. In Uzbekistan, we are still struggling to maintain our stability, at the cost of many of the gains of independence. Still, while women in our countries do not speak the same language or share the same experiences, we very clearly understand each other and can relate to each other’s adversities.

Through the training it became very obvious that all these women are educated and independent, and that they will continue to do what they do despite these adversities. However, they still benefit from this access to better tools to support them and the work that they are doing for their communities.

Namely, they benefit from acquiring special skills and knowledge of topics such as,  modern public relations technology, effective communication skills, time management skills, and techniques for developing a vision. In addition to the training provided, this may require a special training facilitated by experts in all these areas. It is obvious that these women will be able to comprehend these complex topics, and from what I saw at the training these women could benefit from even more investment in their tremendous capacities.

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Following My Dreams: Reflections from WLP’s Central Asia Regional Institute

Posted on 23 April 2013 by

Maria Kolesnikova is a citizen journalist in Kyrgyzstan and a volunteer with WLP Kyrgyzstan/Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan. She joined women from Kazakhstan,  Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan at the WLP Central Asia Regional Training of Trainers Institute on Women’s Leadership and Political Participation in Shymkent, Kazakhstan this April as a participant and to present on her own experiences utilizing social media for change as a citizen journalist. Maria shares her reflections from the training below.

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Leading to Choices Hits the Radio Waves in Kyrgyzstan

Posted on 17 September 2010 by

As a part of WLP’s Leading to Choices program, Human Rights Center “Citizens against Corruption” recently concluded 12 live radio trainings on the radio station Kabarlar. The goals of the radio trainings were devoted to expanding women’s leadership and participation in various spheres of social interaction and decision-making that will promote a fair and balanced relationship to both men and women in our society. All the materials for the radio training were based on the Kyrgyz language edition of the Leading to Choices manual, which includes 12 sessions on various leadership topics.

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Where Is the Primacy of International Law in Transitional Countries like Kyrgyzstan?

Posted on 09 September 2010 by

Remarks delivered by Tolekan Ismailova, Director, Human Rights Center “Citizens against Corruption” on September 02, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain

“Human rights violations related to the recent tragic events in Kyrgyzstan and implications for the implementation of Helsinki commitments”

For a start, let me say that I would like to dedicate my speech to the thousands of people who have suffered injustice during the tragic events that occurred in Kyrgyzstan in April, May and June 2010. People who lost relatives and friends, people who were injured, people who were left without homes and means to exist, missing persons, victims of sexual and physical abuse, homeless children and orphans…

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In Defense of Human Rights

Posted on 16 July 2010 by

Central Asia. Two leaders. They risk it all in the defense of human rights, in defense of their beliefs and unwavering commitment to peace, justice, and universal rights.

On the one hand is the director of our partner organization in Kyrgyzstan, Tolekan Ismailova, who is in forced exile (temporary, we hope) as a result of threats against her and her family. She is paying the price for speaking out as a Kyrgyz national for the human rights of the Uzbek population in Osh, Kyrgyzstan that bore the brunt of violence in April and June 2010. Tolekan has been calling for an independent investigation of the tragic events, confident that such an investigation in the midst of a transitional government and a move towards democracy would strengthen and not weaken the state. It would show the state’s evolution and its commitment to “the highest standards of the rule of law, human rights, and development.”

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Peace and Justice in Kyrgyzstan: A Voice from Uzbekistan

Posted on 15 July 2010 by

The violence in Osh, Kyrgyzstan has caused me great pain. Atrocities committed against Uzbeks, Russians, Tartars, and some Kyrgyz, such as those recounted in Fergana.ru, reflect the cruelty of what occurred. While lack of information is the reality inside Uzbekistan, even people around the world do not have full information about what has happened. I am proud that Kyrgyz human rights activist Tolekan Ismailova was on the ground in Osh and in the refugee camps documenting the human rights violations, and that she along with other Kyrgyz activists have been calling for international investigations. It is sad that their calls for an international investigation have not received worldwide support.

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Tolekan Ismailova’s Statement to Supporters

Posted on 08 July 2010 by

July 08, 2010

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Thank you for your support and interest in my temporary departure from Kyrgyzstan.

The situation related to the threats against me and my family will hopefully attract the attention of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, and lead to a professional investigation in response to my official statement on Azattyk radio July 6, 2010. For all that I said I bear full legal responsibility.

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Update from Kyrgyzstan on Tolekan Ismailova

Posted on 07 July 2010 by

Since our alert a week ago (Kyrgyzstan: Government Must Ensure Security of Human Rights Activists), we have received many online and offline inquiries about Tolekan Ismailova’s well-being. We are in touch with Tolekan and able to confirm that she is currently safe. We are continuing to monitor the situation and provide support as needed. Tolekan is grateful for the solidarity everyone has shown her during this time of personal distress and crisis in her country.

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Violence and Trauma: A Forgotten Risk

Posted on 01 July 2010 by

My colleague Usha posted a few weeks ago about the role of radio in violence and reconciliation in Rwanda. Something jarred me. Something that tends to be buried most of the time nowadays beneath an arguably geeky enthusiasm for UN Security Council resolution 1325 and its progeny and potential for implementation. Somehow, in two years of working together I hadn’t shared with Usha that, for a brief period in 2003-2004, as a law student I worked on efforts to prosecute the widespread sexual violence that took place during the genocide that ravaged Rwanda ten years earlier. Talking about that tends to create for me a very visceral reminder of why I do this work, why I feel so strongly about supporting women survivors of violence in times of conflict, and doing everything we can to raise accountability and prevent of these acts, whether opportunistic or systematic.

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Women and Children Bear the Brunt of Violence in Southern Kyrgyzstan

Posted on 16 June 2010 by

With the growing human rights crisis and ethnic violence taking place in southern Kyrgyzstan, Tolekan Ismailova of WLP’s partner in Kyrgyzstan, Human Rights Center “Citizens against Corruption” (CAC) is currently in the conflict zone in Osh with a group of human rights defenders, journalists, and Ombudsman representatives visiting local communities, providing humanitarian aid and clean-up, and working to mediate ethnic tensions.

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