Online mini-workshop: Women in Central Asia – Challenges, Activism and New Perspectives on Empowerment

NB! The event will be held on Zoom. To attend the event please click on the link

The Central Asian region is discussed usually from the perspective of its geopolitical importance and political authoritarianism, but recently it became also known through feminist activism. For example, body-positive song by Zere Asylbek from Kyrgyzstan became widely-known through the social media in 2018. Several countries of the region signed international documents on gender equality, but at the same time the region is known through both preservation of  discrimination against women in many spheres of life and new conservative movements using ideas of “natural femininity” for the purposes of nation-building.

The panel is a continuation of the on-line workshop “Post-Soviet Women – Ways to Empowerment” that took place at IRES on September 10 and 11. The purpose of the workshop was to gather scholars from different disciplines and countries to discuss new developments with respect to the situation of women and  consequences of the new conservative movements on gender equality in Russia and Eurasia.  This panel will be focused on the Central Asian developments with a special focus on Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The participants of the panel are researchers and activists  living and working in Central Asia.

The workshop is online and includes four short presentations that will be followed by the comments of the discussant and a common discussion.


Galym Zhussipbek Dr in Political Science, Almaty and Zhanar Nagayeva, MA/independent researcher, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Women’s rights in Central Asian countries in the grip of retraditionalization and neoliberal capitalism

Gulnara Ibraeva, Dr in Sociology, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

The political economy of domestic violence in Kyrgyzstan during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown

Nazgul Mingisheva, PhD candidate, Department of Sociology, Eurasian National University, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

Between the Past and the Future: Complexity and Diversity of Young Female Consumption in Kazakhstan

Zhanar Temirbekova, Dr/Associate Professor, Almaty Management University, Almaty, Kazakhstan and Serik Beyssembaev, research fellow/ PhD candidate in Sociology at the L.Gumilev Eurasia National University, Almaty.

New wave of feminist activisms in Kazakhstan

Discussant: Nathan Light, Ph.D., Associate researcher, Dept. Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University

The mini-workshop is organised by the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES), Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology and Uppsala Forum on Democracy, Peace and Justice, all three at Uppsala University as well as the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) at Södertörn University and the Swedish Aral Sea Society.