GERC with the support of Soros Foundation Kazakhstan conducted Gender Economics Forum, in December 10-12, 2019. In the framework of the Gender Economics Forum the round table on the topic «Gender regimes in Kazakhstan Economy: unpaid work in household» and two-days trainings were organized. Key speaker of the event – international expert, professor Mieke Meurs, co-director of the Gender Analysis Program in Economics, American University (Washington DC, USA) with presentation «Gender Regimes, Unpaid Work, and Welfare Outcomes». Trainings “The methodology of gender studies for the academic community” (December 10, 2019) and «Internationally available gender disaggregated data» (December 12, 2019) were conducted, by Prof. Meurs. The forum was attended by over seventy participants – representatives of the Soros Foundation Kazakhstan, the National Commission for Women and Family and Demographic Policy, akimat, UN, USAID, NGOs, as well as the expert and scientific community of Kazakhstan.
The Forum brought together representatives of scientific, academic and non-profit communities to discuss issues of women’s economic well-being.
During the meeting, the opening speech was made by the Rector of Narxoz University – Andrew Wachtel, the Chairman of the Board of the Soros Foundation Kazakhstan – Aida Aidarkulova, the UN-Women program specialist – Saltanat Mustafina, and Regional Gender /Training Advisor of the Strategy and Program Office of USAID Regional Mission in Central Asia– Rabiga Baitokova. Director of the GERC Dr. Maigul Nugmanova made a presentation on the work activities of the Center.
Research fellows of the Soros Foundation Kazakhstan Fellowship program presented their research works on the following issues:
–Gender division of labor and unpaid work in the household: evidence from Kazakhstan;
–Human Resource Management and Gender Pay Gap: evidence from Kazakhstan;
–Modernization of the mechanism of state regulation of women’s employment in the STEM fields of Kazakhstan;
–Gender budgeting in Kazakhstan: processes, implementation mechanisms and prospects.
At the end of the meeting, experts and participants of the round table launched the development of practical recommendations on gender issues, reducing the burden of unpaid domestic work for women, institutionalizing the care services for children and other dependent family members, as well as preparing gender-sensitive statistics data. Narxoz University supports GERC projects and is open to new collaborations in further promotion of such socially valuable event. GERC is grateful to UN Women and Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Kazakhstan for the financial support for hosting the Round table.
In December 9, 2019, GERC staff and resrarch fellows met with a professor at American University (Washington DC, USA), co-director of the Program of Gender Analysis in Economics (PGAE) Mieke Meurs. Professor Mieke Meurs shared the experience of the PGAE, gave her recommendations for the future work of the GERC center. Mieke Meurs is also Vice President of the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE). Professor Meurs donated a selection of Feminist Economics Journal issues for several years to the GERC library as a gift from the Association, which is a valuable contribution for gender researchers in Kazakhstan. Also, Professor Meurs gave her recommendations and consultations to the Research fellows of the Soros Foundation Kazakhstan Fellowship program.
The “Gender Economics” course was developed and implemented as part of the project of the Soros Foundation Kazakhstan, the creation of the Gender Economics Research Center (GERC) at Narxoz University. The course covers the main elements (composite) of the gender aspects of economic theory and the situation in the labor market, as well as the gender approach to assessing the reproductive sphere, family relations and social policy, from a theoretical and practical point of view. Due to the fact that students have an interest in this discipline, it has been conducted for the second year for students of Narxoz University. In the spring semester of the 2019-2020 academic year, 20 students of various specialties – economics, finance, accounting and other attend a 3 credit course on Gender Economics. The course lecturer is a Research fellow of the Gender Economics Research Center (GERC), PhD candidate at Istanbul Technical University majoring in Economics – Salimzhanova Aizhan.
The purpose of studying this discipline is to develop students’ skills and ideas about the concept of the theory of gender relations (gender, sex, gender difference, gender identity, femininity, masculinity, sexism) based on a study of the basic concepts and directions of development of gender aspects of the economy worldwide and in Kazakhstan. Explanations of gender issues include models and theories from traditional economic theories and focus on their practical application in the process of economic development.
The course on Gender economics is not aimedat simply memorizing material, but gives students critical thinking skills. The course is carefully organized in such a way as to deliberately engage students in discussions and problem solving. The course program requires ongoing student participation. Lectures and practical trainings of the course is a space for questions and answers, the emergence of new ideas, so that students of the course learn to form and express their point of view, criticism and doubts.
The introduction of gender-sensitive elective courses should change the traditional professional self-determination of young people. The inclusion of gender aspects in the analysis of macro-problems contributes to the reorientation of the economy in a social direction, namely, to ensure human needs.
From December 3rd to 5th, 2019, Gender Economics Research Center (GERC) together with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Kazakhstan and and the socio-educational project WeArt organized the “Teaching Gender Studies” event .
As part of this event, Katerina Suvorova´s documentary “Face the Music” (2019) was screened, the main characters of the film are members of the group Ninety One, and there was a discussion with film director and experts who were part of the movie, as well as the presentation of a video interview prepared by students of Narxoz University. Also, there was a presentation of Professor Moldiyar Yergebekov’s self-developed course “Ethics, Gender and Media”, and discussion with participation of academic experts from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, on the questions of :Introduction of Gender Studies in the curriculum of universities”, “What are the main obstacles and how can they be overcome?”, “Availability of Gender Studies in the curriculum”, “Collaboration of universities and gender research institutes”, “Prospects for international cooperation” and “Formal/non-formal education. Where do they intersect and what are the advantages?”
On December 8, 2019, the research fellow of the Сenter made a speech at the 4th Conference on Gender Equality on the topic “Who is guilty or why Economists are blind”.
TEDxAbayStWomen aims to inspire women to new stages of development, faith in themselves and their future. Each year, the conference brings together interesting speakers, experts and visitors and allows to express opinion and hear others.
Participants, speakers and organizers are united by innovative ideas and the desire to change the world for the better.
Maygul Nugmanova and Aigerim Kussainkyzy took part in a seminar organized by the Institute for Gender Studies Fachhochshule University, Kiele, Germany, in November 2019.
Also, a meeting was held by Maygul Nugmanova (GERC, Narxoz University) and Britta Tag (Institute of Interdisciplinary Gender Research, Germany). Cooperation perspectives in the field of gender education development, joint research and activities to increase gender awareness of the population were discussed.
On September 28, 2019, the first women’s meeting in Kazakhstan took place in the park behind the Sary-Arka cinema, in Almaty city. During the meeting, 8 speakers spoke on various topics. Research fellow of the Center spoke on the topic “Women and their role in science.”
GERC has won a United Nations grant on gender equality and the empowerment of women (UN Women) to conduct a study on the participation of women in unpaid work. Research objective: to model the impact of costs on the institutionalization of care services on employment and the impact on budget revenues.
As part of the project, estimation/analysis of economic effect of institutionalization of care services in Kazakhstan, elaboration of recommendations to the Government were prepared.
In October 2019, Maigul Nugmanova, Director of the Gender Economics Research Center, made a presentation at the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) conference at George Washington University. Panel group: Professor Mieke Meurs, Co-Director of Program of Gender Analysis in Economics, Washington D.C.; Michael Brody, Professor of American University, Washington D.C.; Stanley Currier, Technical Adviser, IREX, Washington D.C., discussed issues of quality assurance in higher education, employability and gender issues in the labor market in Kazakhstan.
A meeting with Professor Mieke Meurs was also held, where the development of the GERC center, the possibility of conducting joint research was discussed.
On September 11, 2019, Gender Economics Research Center (GERC) held a presentation of the center for faculty and university staff. The presentation of Center took place as part of a series of research seminars dedicated to acquaintance with the research centers and institutes of the university.
The head of Center Maigul Nugmanova made a presentation about the mission, tasks, and activities of Center. Researchers of the Сenter – Aizhan Salimzhanova, Amina Gassanova and Makpal Bekturganova made a presentation of their researches.
Employees of the center participated in the summer school in July 2019 at AUCA. They attended lectures and workshops on the topics of Gender & Development, Sexual & Reproductive Health Education, Early Marriage & Its Consequences, HIV/AIDS & STI Prevention, Bride Kidnapping, Gender Based Violence led by AUCA Professors, a Professor from Toronto University, and Professors from an Institute for Interdisciplinary Gender Research and Diversity of Kiel University of Applied Sciences, Germany.
During the first meeting with the newly recruited fellows, Head of the Center – Dr. Maigul Nugmanova has conducted an orientational presentation on gender researches in economics and has given first comments on the research work plans of researchers and introduced comments of international expert, professor of American university – Mieke Meurs
Research fellow from the year 2018-2019 Anel Kireyeva has attended the conference in South Korea in July 2019. There she presented her research work on Gender Pay Gap in Kazakhstan that she has prepared during the center’s fellowship program for which she has gained an AWARD OF EXCELLENCE.
The roundtable included a presentation of research papers by graduates of the Open Economy Fellowship Initiative of the Soros Foundation – Kazakhstan on women’s economic empowerment, household economics, division of labor, gender pay gap, gender statistics, and gender budgets. Graduates were trained at the Gender Economics Research Center of Narxoz University during 2018-2019. After the presentations, a discussion followed with the participation of experts in the field of gender economics. In particular, the event was addressed by representatives of government agencies, the DAMU Entrepreneurship Development Fund, the Zerteu Research Institute Public Foundation, and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
On February 21st, 2019, a roundtable was held at the Holiday Inn to discuss the gender pay gap and women’s entrepreneurship. The event, organized by the University of Narxoz, brought together more than 50 participants, representatives of education and business, who were involved in the speeches of the experts, panel discussion and networking activity.
On the 10th of December 2018, the following experts have joined us in discussing important issues such as the relationship between the economic situation of girls and women in society and their susceptibility to violence (economic, psychological, sexual and domestic), economic rights of housewives, and the gender pay gap:
•Margarita Uskemabeva, President, PF “Institute for Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities of Kazakhstan”;
•Assel Terlikbaeva, Regional Director, Center for Global Health Studies in Central Asia, Columbia University, Almaty, Kazakhstan;
•Lyubov Chubukova, Project Coordinator of the Central Asian Association of People Living with HIV;
•Leila Makhmudova, conference organizer of the TEDxAbayStWomen and TEDxYouth AbaySt.
During the event we also rewarded the winner of the contest “The best visual content on the topic of women’s rights in Kazakhstan” Sayora Akhmollayeva, Narxoz university student.
Two guest lectures on gender and economics related topics have been given to the students and staff of Narxoz University that served as an introduction to the issues to be covered in the Course. One in Russian – delivered by Aida Alzhanova, gender expert, President of a public fund ADAM DAMU, and one in English – delivered by Osama Rajkhan, Social Affairs Officer of the UN ESCAP.
Syllabus of the Gender Economics Course for the undergrads has been elaborated by the research fellows. 25 people from a Russian group and 28 from a Kazakh group of the undergraduate Economics department have signed up for the course for the spring 2019 semester.
The Syllabus of the Gender Economics course was developed by the center’s researchers. In the spring semester of 2018-2019 academic year, 25 people from the Russian group and 28 from the Kazakh group of undergraduate economics attended course. Currently, Syllabus is updating under the guidance of an international expert, professor of the American University – Prof. Mieke Meurs and could be offered for all student in Spring Semester 2019-2020 academic year.