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Kazakhstan Women in Science

Kazakhstan Women in Science

Statistics and ways to empower women scientists 

According to the Gender Equity Index of the World Economic Forum 2017, Kazakhstan was ranked 52nd of 144. Despite it being a satisfactory rate, the country continues its way towards gender equality in all the spheres of life. Dzhamilya Nurmanbetova, the Corresponding Member of Kazakhstan Academy of Sciences, spoke on the status of women scientists and researchers in her country during the Second EWF’s section on the women in science. 

Dzhamilya Nurmanbetova - Member of Mazhilis (the lower house) of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, PhD in Philosophy, Professor, and the Corresponding Member of Kazakhstan Academy of Sciences 

According to Kazakhstan’s National Report on Science of 2016, 53% of country’s citizens holding science and academic degrees are women. Besides, also 52% of Kazakhstan’s Candidates of Sciences are women, while they make 36% of all Kazakh PhDs. Women are also the corresponding members of the Academy of Sciences, which is an important fact. 

At the same time, Ms. Nurmanbetova said that in many countries the rate of women on every following step of scientific career tends to fall. Dzamilya Murmanbetova explained: “Those are the problems of unconscious discrimination, combining maternity and professional duties, psychological prejudice, and inadequate recognition of women’s achievements”. Ms. Nurmanbetova is a scientist and a mother herself.

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The Member of Parliament highlighted: oftentimes, women have to work much harder than men to prove their self-sufficiency and overcome psychological difficulties and social barriers. Despite all that, women achieve greater success as they truly love what they do. 

Dzhamilya Nurmanbetova is sure that gender balance in science can enhance both competitiveness and the efficiency of scientific work. In order to achieve such equality, it is important to effectively broaden access to education, eliminate gender pay gap, remove the ban on labour mobility, and empower women scientists and researchers. According to her, countries and women’s organisations should exchange experience on those matters. 

In Kazakhstan, there is understanding of gender inequality in science. The country searches for solutions. 

For instance, the question is raised about the necessity of conducting a systematic research of the problem’s origins. Besides, there are plans of continuing the improvement of legislation for the sake of motivating women sciences. The activity of eliminating gender inequality and reducing discrimination towards women in various organisations and educational institutions is well under way. The psychological barriers are being progressively eliminated as well. 

The elective course was introduced in several universities of Kazakhstan. In its framework, girls will be taught to unleash their scientific potential, as well as inspired and motivated for research activities. 

The realisation of the agenda of empowering women in science is reflected in Kazakhstan Development Strategy; Federal Law on State guarantees of equal rights and freedoms, and equal opportunities, for men and women; and the Conception of Family and Gender Politics of Kazakhstan. 

Concluding her report, Dzhamilya Nurmanbetova said: “In general, gender equality in our country is being complexly achieved, which involves men and women providing equal contribution to the economic development and the growth of Kazakhstan’s intellectual capacity”. 

Anna Repina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community

Translated by Nikolay Boykov


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