• KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09358 1.08%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09358 1.08%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09358 1.08%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09358 1.08%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09358 1.08%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09358 1.08%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09358 1.08%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09358 1.08%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 123

Women in Central Asia in Need of Protection from Violence

 Central Asian Countries are seeing a new wave of violence against women and girls, and the fight against their long-standing powerlessness is just beginning. In 2023, the Women, Peace and Security Index (WPS Index), published by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and the PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security, found Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan the most dangerous countries in Central Asia for women. Things were deemed slightly better in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. The challenges faced by women in the region result from a combination of factors: the low number of women in government and law enforcement, women’s lack of financial independence, especially in rural areas, a distorted understanding of traditions across populations, and a mentality in society that often denies or covers up flagrant cases of injustice.   The law is written in blood: the case of Kazakhstan According to WPS experts, Kazakhstan has progressed further than its neighbors toward equality. Still, according to Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, 69 women and seven children died in 2023 in domestic conflicts alone. It is believed that, on average, at least 80 women die every year at the hands of those they live with; every day, the police receive hundreds of calls, while thousands of women need the help of specialized protection and support centers. According to the Prosecutor General, last year 150 women sustained severe injuries and 200 moderate injuries in marital conflicts, with another 4,000 suffering minor bruises. This year, however, marked a turning point for Kazakhstani society – more and more women are recording videos with marks from beatings, posting the videos on social media, and calling on the police to punish their abusers. Even high-profile domestic abusers can now be exposed. The trigger for these changes was the trial of former Nazarbayev-era Minister of the National Economy, Kuandyk Bishimbayev, who beat his wife, Saltanat Nukenova, to death last November. Following a live-streamed trial, this May, Bishimbayev was sentenced to 24 years in prison for her murder. Even during the Bishimbayev trial, Karina Mamash, the wife of a Kazakh diplomat in the UAE, went public with allegations about systematic abuse, calling on the state to help. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urgently recalled her husband, Embassy Counselor Saken Mamash, who may be fired. Karina is now at home with her children while a criminal case has been opened against her husband. She has since reported threats from her husband's relatives. Also in May, Akmaral Umbetkalieva, a resident of Atyrau, alleged that her ex-husband, Rinat Ibragimov – the akim (mayor) of Makat District in Atyrau Region – had beaten her for eleven years and taken away their children. Ibragimov called the allegations slander. The month before, former Taldykorgan police chief, Marat Kushtybaev was sentenced to eleven years for raping a girl in his office in November 2023. Another headline from April was that a security guard at an Almaty bar who had been convicted of raping a girl at knifepoint would serve eight years in prison. The...

Decolonial Futurism: A Focus on Kazakhstan’s Pavilion at the 60th Venice Biennale

Kazakh artists have traditionally been marginalized in the global art scene due to political intricacies and a complex cultural identity. With historical influences and colonization by both Russia and China, Kazakh artists are now carving out a unique artistic identity and sharing it with international audiences. The Kazakh pavilion "Jerūiyq: Journey Beyond the Horizon" at the 60th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, from April 20 to November 24, represents a major milestone in changing perceptions of Kazakh art. Staged in the Naval Historical Museum, the exhibition reinterprets the ancient legend of Jerūiyq, drawing inspiration from Kazakh myths and the visionary journey of the 15th-century philosopher Asan Kaigy. The word "kaigy" means "pain" in Kazakh, symbolizing the nation's traumatic encounters with modernity's darker aspects: the devastating famine of the 1930s, the craters left by nuclear tests in Semey, the shrinking of the Aral Sea, and the wounds inflicted on the Kazakh landscape. The exhibition traces the evolution of Kazakh utopian imagination from the 1970s to today through artists’ visions of ideal worlds, where their utopian imagination merges with the artistic movement of "decolonial futurism." On behalf of TCA, Naima Morelli interviewed curator Anvar Musrepov on the concept and significance of Kazakhstan's participation in the Venice Biennale. TCA: How did the idea for the Kazak pavilion “Jerūiyq: Journey Beyond the Horizon” evolve? A.M: In our curatorial research, we found that the theme of utopia and futuristic imagination has concerned several generations of Kazakhstan's artists since the 1970s. Using this as a starting point, we decided to establish, in chronological order, a collection of works by multiple generations of artists. Divided by decades, the collection manifested a wave of Kazakh futurism, including themes of spirituality, cosmism, nomadism, and utopian ideas. This in turn, will help formulate a term to comprehensively describe and unite all these intuitions that have concerned Kazakh artists in different historical periods. [caption id="attachment_18933" align="aligncenter" width="522"] Sergey Maslov, "Baikonur" at the Venice Biennale [/caption]   TCA: The exhibition’s title alludes to the ancient legend of Jerūiyq. What is it about and  how have you interpreted it? A.M: Jeruiq is an ancient legend about a utopian land that according to many myths, was sought by Asan Kaigy, advisor to the first Kazakh khans Zhanibek and Kerey. Legend describes it as a land that has fermented, a place where time has stopped, a land full of vividness, devoid of disease or longing. We found in this ancient Kazakh legend, an ideal metaphor to unite all the intuitions presented in the exhibition and manifest the chronology of post-nomadic futuristic imagination. If established, the definition of this unique phenomenon, could become a movement in Kazakh art. TCA: What can you tell us about the philosopher Asan Kaigy? A.M: Asan Kaigy is a quasi-historical character who features in Kazakhstan’s rich oral tradition where history and memory are passed down from mouth to mouth. Every region of Kazakhstan has local legends about miracles performed by Asan Kaigy. One such legend says that he found...

Kazakhstan’s President Tokayev Foresees a Bigger Role for Middle Powers in Solving the World’s Problems

Middle powers, sometimes called “swing states”, may rank below superpowers and great powers in terms of their international influence and capacity, but are still quite instrumental in world affairs as they can often remain neutral in big conflicts and benefit from such factors as their geostrategic location, natural resource wealth, diplomatic and economic strength, and/or military capabilities. They can play a key role in overcoming fragmentation of the world economy and secure supply chains through such transit routes as the Middle Corridor. Today, middle powers have the agility to navigate complex political situations in many parts of the world that greater powers simply lack whether due to their own internal dynamics or because they lack the trust of the parties involved in certain conflicts and issues. In terms of realizing the green transition, middle powers can help secure supplies of critical minerals and other key materials. These countries are also often proponents of finding multilateral solutions to international problems.  Kazakhstan is currently among the world’s influential middle powers. On the positive role his country can play, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev recently wrote in a Euronews opinion piece that, “nations like ours possess the economic strength, military capabilities, and, perhaps more importantly, political will and diplomatic acumen necessary to exert significant sway in the global arena on issues ranging from food and energy security, green transition, and IT to the sustainability of supply chains.” These strengths are particularly relevant amidst a global discord where, in Tokayev’s words, “the traditional powerhouses – the world’s economic and political behemoths – are increasingly unable to work together”. Countries like Kazakhstan, on the other hand, “can ensure stability, peace and development in their immediate regions and beyond” and “carve paths toward compromise and reconciliation”. Kazakhstan has deepened its cooperation with other middle powers within Central Asia and the Caucasus to address cross-border challenges such as water security and countering terrorism and narcotrafficking. Its collaboration with Azerbaijan and Turkey has been critical to actualizing the Middle Corridor project that opens Central Asia to Western markets. Kazakhstan is working closely with European states to guarantee their energy needs. For Asian countries, Kazakhstan has come into focus as an attractive foreign investment destination. These middle power collaborations have been formalized through highest-level bilateral meetings. Tokayev has carried out dozens of such meetings in 2024 year alone.  Having come from a long diplomatic career himself, it is encouraging to see President Tokayev’s ongoing support for multilateralism and international cooperation. Kazakhstan will co-chair the inaugural One Water Summit later this year with France to address the global water crisis including the effects of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. The event is key to bringing together affected countries and communities from around the world. Additionally, leading regional efforts to counter the effects of climate change, Kazakhstan has offered to host a UN Regional Centre for Sustainable Development Goals on Central Asia and Afghanistan. The country is also undertaking initiatives to advance peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan. “With major powers increasingly unwilling to...

Protecting Women and Children Helps Preserve, Not Contradict, Traditional Family Values in Kazakhstan

In today's rapidly evolving world, traditional values can sometimes clash with progressive movements advocating for inclusivity and modern perspectives in many areas of life. While these values are often seen as barriers, they can instead serve as a source of stability and continuity when thoughtfully upheld. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is aligning legislative reforms with Kazakhstan's family values while integrating them with the society's progressive aspirations. At a recent meeting with young scientists in Almaty, President Tokayev took aim at domestic violence calling it “a manifestation of backwardness and moral degradation.”  He added that “only a society that values ​​and respects women can be considered truly civilized and cultured.”  Regulatory actions In his speech, Tokayev placed “strengthening of the institution of the family” at the center of modernizing Kazakhstani society. “After all, comprehensive protection of the rights of women and children does not at all contradict the preservation of traditional family values ​​and, on the contrary, contributes to their further strengthening”, he said. “From the first days of my presidency, I have been paying great attention to protecting the rights of women and children. We are consistently taking legislative and institutional measures in this direction,” he noted.  This is not a new issue for the President, who in his September 2022 address, had already ordered stricter penalties for domestic violence. His agenda to strengthen protective measures sped up following the high-profile murder of Saltanat Nukenova in November 2023 by her husband, an influential former minister.  The events following this tragedy helped bring about new laws, inspired a culture of zero tolerance for any form of violence, and perhaps even opened the way for further reforms. On April 15, 2024, Tokayev signed a landmark law criminalizing violence against women and children, reversing a 2017 decriminalization. In two weeks, these amendments will be put into effect. The government’s response to the death of Nukenova and to the events following it, including the public reaction, has garnered international praise.  Promoting a values-based society Tokayev in his Almaty speech expressed that “not all problems can be solved by passing or tightening the law,” and adding that “everyone must start with themselves changing for the better”. “Family values ​​should be established in every home”, he said, highlighting the key role of women in raising the new generation.  Tokayev also prescribed enforcing good values in educational institutions while acknowledging that the country’s education system still had shortcomings. This is another example of how the leadership’s rhetoric matters in advancing a society. Tokayev continues to set the tone for his country on women’s rights. As the Washington Post wrote on May 13, 2024, “Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has repeatedly spoken about strengthening protections for women.”  Tokayev’s messaging of values has indeed been consistent – with a focus on rule of law as a basis for the protection of rights of all citizens.  The future The President’s actions have already begun inculcating a culture of no tolerance for aggression against women. “Today, the problem of domestic violence is widely...

Kazakhstan Reports Another Big Jump in Saiga Antelope Numbers

The number of saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan has surged to an estimated 2,833,600, an increase of well over 40% since last year, according to an aerial survey conducted between mid-April and May 1. The total number is likely to be much higher because the study was done before the calving season in May The new data represents another step in the extraordinary comeback of a species whose numbers were estimated at 20,000 in 2003 and then, after a period of growth, suffered another big population crash because of a bacterial disease outbreak in 2015. A reduction in poaching and the expansion of land earmarked for conservation helped the species recover in Kazakhstan, though saigas are vulnerable to several diseases and extreme weather. Some farmers say ballooning saiga numbers threaten their crops and the government has explored mass kills and other ways to regulate the population. Helicopters were used to count the antelopes over an area of about 150,000 square kilometers this year, logging 215 flight hours as they flew at a steady altitude of 120 meters, according to the Altyn Dala Conservation Initiative, which aims to restore the Kazakh steppe ecosystem. It said state agencies were involved and the science - survey route plans, data collection and result processing – was carried out by the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan. “These annual figures are made using the same methodology which is well established,” the conservation initiative said on June 3. “They are derived by extrapolation and primarily reflect the trend in the species’ numbers, i.e. an increase of over 40%, and the approximate number. These data were obtained in April 2024, before calving, which took place in May, so now, by the beginning of June, considering the successful breeding season, the number of the species will have almost doubled.” The surveys were carried out in the regions of West Kazakhstan, Mangistau, Akmola, Aktobe, Kostanay, Karaganda, Ulytau, Pavlodar and Abay. The dry steppe grasslands and semi-arid deserts of Central Asia are the saiga’s natural habitat. The vast majority of saigas are in Kazakhstan; Russia and Mongolia have small populations. Saigas from Kazakhstan have migrated in and out of Uzbekistan, sometimes reaching Turkmenistan. But such cross-border movements have dropped. The number reaching Uzbekistan has declined, partly because a border fence was built, and saigas haven’t been seen in Turkmenistan for several years, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN stands for International Union for Conservation of Nature, a group based in Switzerland. Last year, the saiga’s conservation status on the red list was upgraded from “critically endangered” to “near threatened” because of its population gains. Saiga females start to breed when they are only eight months old and they often give birth to twins.

Endangered Wild Horses Return to Kazakhstan’s Golden Steppe

Three wild horses have been transported from the Prague Zoo to the vast grasslands of Kazakhstan, restoring the endangered species to one of its natural habitats after an absence of a century.  A Czech military plane helped to deliver the Przewalski's horses to the “Golden Steppe," or Altyn Dala, in central Kazakhstan, where they will stay for a while in enclosures to get used to conditions in their new environment. The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it co-funded repairs to the enclosures after damage caused by recent flooding in the Central Asian country.   “Congratulations to all those involved in these huge efforts to return these wild horses to the steppes of Kazakhstan,” said the Altyn Dala Conservation Initiative, a multinational partnership that is working to restore the Kazakh steppe ecosystem. It said on Tuesday that another group of the wild horses, which are named after the Russian geographer who identified the species in 1881, are on their way from Tierpark Berlin, a German zoo. Przewalski’s horse is “the last genetically wild horse on Earth” and its Russian namesake first came across the species in Mongolia, according to the multinational conservation group. The species vanished from the wild in the 1960s. But several European zoos kept some of the horses, saving the species from extinction, and reintroductions into the wild began in the 1990s, first in China and then in Mongolia.  The Prague Zoo is leading the relocation project in Kazakhstan, which aims to introduce a total of eight Przewalski’s horses to the steppe in the first year and several dozen horses over the next five years. Some of the wild horses will also come from Hungary’s Hortobagy National Park, which has the largest group of Przewalski’s horses outside Mongolia, as well as Nuremberg Zoo in Germany.  The reintroduction center for the horses is located in the Torgai steppe, which lies within a network of linked nature reserves that total 40,000 square kilometers, according to the Frankfurt Zoological Society, a partner in the Altyn Dala Conservation Initiative. The initiative, in turn, is led by the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan. The conservation initiative has overseen a surge in the number of saiga antelope to more than 1.9 million, a 10-fold increase since a devastating disease outbreak in 2015.  “Unlike the Saiga, the Przewalski’s horse prefers a much broader selection of grasses, and in turn distributes the seeds of additional plant species across their shared steppe environment, playing a complimentary role.  In addition to this, their dung piles provide nutrients to other plants and decomposers, such as insects,” the initiative said.  A key part of the project is raising awareness about the wild horses among local communities. Conservationists are planning work with children and schools, providing educational materials and coloring books that outline the differences between wild and domestic horses. 

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