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An initiative group of women from Bakaiata village who established Ayan NGO has decided to solve a big and quite difficult problem of the village under support of UNIFEM Project on Women Land Rights.

“There are many problems in the village. Who will solve them if not us?” This was the slogan of the initiative group of women from Ayan NGO headed by their manager, Tamara Zhumabekova. They undertook a difficult task: to implement micro-project on repairing the field road on Tuitobai area. This road of 2 km. length was worn-down and not suitable for use, although before rural citizens used this road to get to their land plots of 310 ha area. Villagers had to use bypass road of 7 km length to get to their lands thus spending more time, efforts and funds.

Everybody got used to such a situation until in 2005 the women developed a project on repairing the field road on Tuitobai area and participated in the competition of Small Grants Fund of UNIFEM Project on Women Land Rights, the activity of which is aimed at observance of rural women’s land rights and ensuring equal access to land and agricultural resources. Of 151 project applications selected by the National Selection Committee 12 projects from all regions of the country were selected, including micro-project of Ayan NGO on reconstruction of the road in Bakaiata village.

It should be noted that alongside the approval the women faced with plain misunderstanding and mistrust. Men were saying that it is not women business to repair the road. Yet the initiative group of women managed to mobilize people and create a working group headed by young and energetic man, Saparaliev Almas without help of whose they couldn’t do. The Project implementation required significant physical works during hot summer time, i.e. installation of trays, digging of catch water dig and performing other earthworks, therefore women participation in the field works was expressed in mobilization of men to do the work and uninterrupted supply with hot meal. 

The initiative of the women group of Ayan NGO demonstrated to the villagers that it is possible to solve important social problems in the community through the initiatives and forces of the villagers. Successful implementation of the micro-project helped overcoming the long-standing opinion that women can not solve problems related to use of heavy machines and physical labor.

The major result of such mobilization of efforts of the local community is understanding that the village problems can and need be solved independently instead of waiting for others to do it. Many thanks to those who pioneered to do the work yesterday without any fear and thus showed the way ahead to the others!

Photo kindly provided by UNFPA


Copyright United Nations of Kyrgyzstan,
un.org.kg, 2008

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