• KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 23

Why Have Women’s Carriages Become So Popular in Kazakhstan?

Kazakhstani women have already had time to appreciate women-only cars in trains - an innovation that seemed unthinkable in the secular country a few years ago. However, the special carriages did not appear as an indulgence to traditionalist views. Kazakhstani women now have a choice: they can ride in a regular carriage, or they can ride in a carriage that is practically closed to men - and demand for the latter service is increasing year by year. In May, the statistics of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), a railroad monopoly, were published, which revealed that women twice as often choose women's cars. Since 2021, more than 359,000 women have chosen this option, and since the beginning of 2024 alone, the service has been used by about 70,000 women, whereas in 2023, only 34,000 did so. Today, women's cars run in eight long-distance passenger trains, with only female conductors working in them. Male children up to seven-years-old are allowed, whilst men can go enter for a short period of time, but overnight stays are strictly prohibited. The need to ensure the safety of women in trains began to be discussed after the scandal that broke out in the fall of 2018, when two conductors raped a female passenger on the high-speed train "Talgo" on the Astana-Aktobe route. This crime resonated widely, and led to loud demands for the authorities to take action. Conductors Zhetes Umbetaliev and Kolkanat Kurmaniyazov were found guilty of rape in July 2019 and were sentenced to just 2.3 and 2.5 years, respectively, whilst Kanat Almagambetov, first deputy chairman of KTZ, apologized on behalf of the company. The first women-only cars were launched in October 2021. "This is being done primarily for the safety of women... If demand for the service increases, our company is ready to expand the geography of these routes. Apart from the female conductors, these carriages are no different from the others. They have the same pricing policy," KTZ explained at the time. The current routes were chosen because of their length, company representatives said. Kazakhstan is a large country and a trip from Almaty to Mangistau, for example, takes several days. Ainagul Kasenova, a resident of Mangistau Oblast, travels to see relatives in Almaty several times a year, and for her, women's cars have become a solution. "Now I try to buy tickets only in a separate car. You travel for a long time, so it's much more comfortable if there are only women and children around. I used to encounter men talking to me, paying me unnecessary attention; it was unpleasant. When the news about the rape of a female passenger by conductors broke, my parents didn't even want to let me go to Almaty. Now they let me go without any problem," Kasenova told TCA. According to her, both students and pensioners are comfortable in women's carriages, especially those who have to travel often, which increases the risk. "The women's carriage is always quiet, friendly atmosphere, without drinking and noise," she added....

“I Hope Saltanat’s Family Can Find Peace” – Women of Kazakhstan Speak Out on Bishimbayev’s Sentence

On November 9, 2023, former Kazakh Minister of the National Economy, Kuandyk Bishimbayev was caught on surveillance cameras arguing with and then brutally beating his common-law wife, 31-year-old Saltanat Nukenova, for around eight hours outside a restaurant he owned in Astana. A forensic examination showed that she had been strangled, but the cause of death was recorded as traumatic injury to the brain. The high-profile case which was live-streamed garnered international attention. Despite pleading not guilty to premeditated murder, Bishimbayev was sentenced to 24 years’ imprisonment for torturing and murdering Nukenova, and his cousin Bakytzhan Baizhanov to four years for his part in covering up the crime. Prosecutor Aizhan Aimaganova, who became widely-known during the trial, said in an interview with Tengrinews.kz that she believes the verdict will change the country forever. "Family and domestic violence is a pressing problem... I hope that after this trial, women will realize that going to law enforcement is not useless. It is necessary to talk about problems. I think now any domestic tyrant will think twice before raising his hand," she said. [caption id="attachment_18029" align="aligncenter" width="872"] Prosecutor Aizhan Aimaganova; image: Press service of the Astana Court[/caption] While the length of the sentence is a victory for advocates against gender-based violence, both within Kazakhstan and in the many parts of Europe where the trial was also followed closely, many Kazakhs feel it is still too early to say that justice has been done. In an open discussion that is rare in Central Asia, many citizens are posting their concerns on social media that the Nazarbayev-era official will find a way to get out of prison early: there is already speculation that Bishimbayev, a former member of the country’s elite, will leverage his political connections to secure an early release – or be recognized as terminally ill. Following the verdict, TCA took to the streets of Kazakhstan to ask women their opinion. "I finally feel relieved,” Sara, an SMM manager from Astana told TCA. “Twenty-four years is a justified sentence in my opinion. Although tragic, this case drew public attention to a great many issues, such as the need for both a new law against domestic abuse and charities to support victims of domestic violence, which is very prominent in Kazakhstan. The whole country watched the case unfold, and that attention was put to good use since many other domestic violence cases got the attention they deserved. I hope that our justice system will make sure that Bishimbayev doesn't get a chance to get out early and serve his full sentence. The same applies to Baizhanov." "Considering various aspects, including the status of his family and the presence of his children, this sentence is probably objective, especially given the jury's involvement,” 21-year-old journalist, Kamila told TCA. “The main issue now is to prevent his release on parole once the unrest subsides, though I know this is only possible if the victim’s family give their consent.” "From an objective point of view, 24-years for a brutal...

Nationwide Survey on Domestic Violence in Kazakhstan Publishes Results

A large-scale statistical analysis on domestic violence in Kazakhstan was conducted by three professors from Karaganda Medical University: Saule Musabekova, Ksenia Mkhitaryan and Hamida Abdukadirova. The study, conducted between 2019 and 2022, covered 14,342 women between the ages of 18 and 75 from 14 regions of Kazakhstan. The questionnaire included questions about health, children, partners, violence and its consequences, financial independence, and cases of sexual abuse in childhood. The study showed that the main victims of domestic violence in Kazakhstan are women (more than 77.9%). Next on the list are children (17.52%), elderly people (3.5%) and men (less than 1.1%). It is important to note that not all victims seek help from the police or hospitals. Therefore, there may be many more victims. According to the results of the study, the most vulnerable age group is women from 40 to 49 years (41.46%) and from 30 to 39 years (37.80%). Victims of domestic violence were most often unemployed women or those with low levels of education, with two or more children, and economically dependent on their husbands. Most of the victims of violence were from urban areas (63%). It was also found that violence against women is committed by strangers in only 12.2% of cases. In 87.8% it is committed by men with whom the victims are in a close relationship. Almost all of them are intimate partners of the victims (in 95-98% of cases). Half of the women interviewed stated that their intimate partners had attacked them while they were pregnant or raising young children. The forms of systematic violence varied. The most common were physical violence, experienced by 78% of respondents; psychological violence, experienced by 21% of respondents; sexual and physical violence, 16%; economic violence, 7%; and regular sexual violence, 6% of respondents. More than half of the respondents (57%) also stated that over the past year they have faced one of the above forms of abusive behavior more than once (from 2 to 8 times). Almost all cases of violence against women (98.2%) occurred when the abuser was intoxicated. Other factors cited by female researchers were economic problems and male unemployment. Incidents of violence most often occurred at home in the evening and at night (91%). Two-thirds of women (66%) said they had suffered at least one injury after partner violence. The study also took into account physical and sexual abuse of women by men with whom they were not in an intimate relationship. In 92%, the abusers were family members, friends and coworkers, and only 8% were unknown men. The researchers noted that Kazakhstan only formally supports the main international commitments to gender equality. Domestic violence and general tolerance to it persist in the country. "Gender roles and cultural norms are clearly expressed in some regions of Kazakhstan: in the south of the country, educated women often do not look for work outside the home because of the priority of domestic duties, and attempts to restrict women in their choice of occupation are quite common. Thus,...

A Steep Rise in Popularity of Women-Only Carriages on Kazakhstan’s Trains

Since the beginning of this year, some 70,000 women in Kazakhstan have opted to travel by train in carriages designated as "women's cars". According to data provided  by the national carrier "Kazakhstan Temir Zholy" (KTZ), this is a steep rise from the 34,000 who used the same carriages in 2023. Introduced at the beginning of 2021, the service which female travelers deem safer and more comfortable than mainstream carriages, has now been used by over 359,000 women. Outlining the initiative, KTZ explained that tickets for women's cars, available on eight trains, are sold only to women and are staffed exclusively by female conductors. Any males traveling must be seven years' old or under. With reference to forward planning, the company stated, "A social survey is currently being conducted on the project. Once collated, the results should provide a better understanding of the needs and preferences of passengers, and subsequently, help determine a strategy for its future development." The need to launch women-only cars in Kazakhstan was spurred by public outrage following the rape of a female passenger by two conductors on a high-speed train traveling the 'Talgo' route between Astana and Aktobe in the fall of 2018. During the ensuing high-profile case in  July 2019, conductors Zhetes Umbetaliyev and Kolkanat Kurmaniyazov were found guilty and sentenced to prison.

Kuandyk Bishimbayev Sentenced to 24 Years for the Murder of Saltanat Nukenova

Kuandyk Bishimbayev, a former Minister of National Economy of Kazakhstan under then-President Nursultan Nazarbayev, was sentenced on Monday to 24 years in prison in the specialized inter-district investigative court of Astana for torturing and murdering his common-law wife, Saltanat Nukenova, at the Gastrocenter Restaurant on November 9, 2023. The verdict and sentence in an Astana courtroom followed a live-streamed trial that galvanized discussion about domestic violence in Kazakhstan and tested the ability of the criminal justice system to hold the powerful and influential to account. Rallies in support of Nukenova spread outside of Kazakhstan, and were staged in Czechia, Georgia, Italy, Spain, and numerous other countries. [caption id="attachment_17886" align="alignnone" width="2048"] A rally in Prague in support of Saltanat Nukenova. Image Source: Asel Kamiyeva [/caption] Judge Aizhan Kulbaeva read out the ruling after a jury trial as Bishimbayev stood in the glass-paneled dock, his head bowed at one point. He had acknowledged beating Nukenova and said his actions, which were captured on CCTV video, led to her death. But he claimed he did not intend to kill her. "Bishimbayev Kuandyk Alikhanovich has been found guilty of committing criminal offenses under p. 1. 2 part 2 of article 110 ("Torture") and point 5 part 2 of article 99 ("Murder"). 2 part 2 of article 99 ("Murder") of the Criminal Code," stated the judge. He was sentenced to 7 years on the first count, and 20 years on the second, which after a partial addition of terms amounted to 24 years in prison. [caption id="attachment_17896" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image from the Astana court session[/caption] In addition, the director of Gastrocenter, Bakhytzhan Baizhanov was found guilty of harboring a particularly serious crime in advance and sentenced to four years in prison in a medium security penal institution, with time already served being taken into account. During the trial, as public outrage over Nukenova’s killing simmered in Kazakhstan, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a new law in April in line with OECD standards which tightens the penalties for domestic violence and provides more help for survivors. The legislation became widely-dubbed, "Saltanat's Law." The response to Saltanat Nukenova's harrowing attack signals a positive trend for women’s rights in the region. The case quickly advanced to a jury trial, given full transparency via a live broadcast, with a female prosecutor at the helm — a clear stance on gender violence in Kazakhstan. Human Rights Watch commended the law as a step forward, but say it should have designated domestic violence as “stand-alone offense,” which would allow other types of violence within the family, such as psychological or sexual, to be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted. The UNDP, meanwhile, commended “legislative initiatives protecting women’s [and] children’s rights,” calling them a “crucial step towards equality, justice [and] safety for all citizens” that “lay a foundation for a stable, prosperous society.” This is not be the first time that Bishimbayev has been sentenced. In 2018 he received a ten-year sentence for accepting bribes, but after less than a year later he was pardoned...

Bishimbayev: Kazakhstan Awaits Verdict in Pivotal Murder Case

This is not in doubt in the live-streamed trial in Kazakhstan: The former economy minister brutally beat his wife and she died from her injuries. Was it murder with particular cruelty and torture, as prosecutors allege? Or was the killing unintentional, making it a lesser crime commensurate with manslaughter or culpable homicide, as the defense says? After weeks of dramatic testimony, the jury is expected to deliberate and reach a verdict soon. Whichever way it goes, the decision in the trial of Kuandyk Bishimbayev, whose fatal beating of Saltanat Nukenova at a restaurant in Almaty, Kazakhstan in November was partly captured in CCTV footage, is one chapter in a fraught reckoning over domestic violence that is only just emerging into the open in a Central Asian country where speaking out is sometimes discouraged. In other countries where powerful men have been accused of murdering female partners, some sensational cases have, at least temporarily, energized debate and campaigns to protect women from domestic violence even if the legal outcomes have bitterly disappointed the families of the dead. There was the trial of athlete and celebrity O.J. Simpson, acquitted in the 1994 deaths of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in Los Angeles. In South Africa, former Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius was freed on parole in January, 11 years after murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in a Valentine's Day shooting. As public outrage over Nukenova’s killing simmered in Kazakhstan, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a new law in April, inline with OECD standards, that tightens penalties for domestic violence and provides more help for survivors. Human Rights Watch is among groups that have commended the law as a step forward but say it should have designated domestic violence as  “stand-alone offense,” which would allow other types of violence within the family, such as psychological or sexual, to be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted. The trial has thrust Kazakhstan’s criminal justice system, which can often be opaque, into the international spotlight. The unprecedented access to the Astana courtroom for online viewers has generally reflected well on Kazakhstan, showcasing a female judge, Aizhan Kulbaeva, as well as female prosecutor Aizhan Aimaganova, who at one point held up a bottle of red liquid to show the size of the fatal blood clot in Nukenova’s head. Aimaganova also said Bishimbayev tried to cover up the crime and that, while he had a mind and intellect, there was “no heart” nor any shred of remorse and compassion in his eyes. The jury consists of ten citizens and the judge, who is likely to hold considerable sway over the group. A simple majority is needed to reach a verdict. Kazakhstan started introducing jury trials in 2007 and has received U.S. and European guidance over the years. In 2018, Bishimbayev was sentenced to jail time for corruption, but was later released as part of an amnesty. If convicted of murder, he could face 15 years to life in prison. In his final remarks in court, he said he was sorry...

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