Women and girls represent half of the world's population and, therefore, also half of its potential. For this reason the achievement of gender equality, besides being a fundamental human right, is essential for the full realization of women's potential based on sustainable development.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) constitute a road map for progress that is sustainable and leaves no one behind. Achieving gender equality and women's empowerment is integral to each of the 17 goals.
In the photo project, we highlight the contribution of Kazakhstan women to developing local communities, implementing national policies, building the carriers in the male-dominated sectors, as we can achieve sustainable development for all only by ensuring the rights and empowerment of women and girls in all areas of life.
Goal 1. No poverty
Makhabbat Yespenova Director of KAMEDA Non-governmental Foundation
For more than 20 years, she has dedicated her work to strengthening the potential of civil society institutions and the development of civic activism: how to obtain resources for the implementation of socially important projects, how to effectively interact with government agencies and promote the interests of beneficiaries. One of the most significant is a project dedicated to youth employment in Kazakhstan's regions, implemented with UNDP support, where the problem of violent extremism is especially acute. Due to her work with disadvantaged and unemployed youth, 650 young people have found support.
Goal 2. Zero Hungry
Anastasia Kolpakova Nutritionist, Master of Medicine, Public Health Specialist
Anastasia specializes in weight management nutritional therapy and nutrition during pregnancy and lactation. She took part in the UNESCO social project, "Sustainability starts with me". She conducts free consultations for oncological patients several times a month, and in the future she wants to cooperate more actively with public organizations.
Goal 3. Good Health and Well-Being
Aknur Seitmenbetova Emergency paramedic
Aknur has been working at the emergency station since 2006. She began to work as a mobile paramedic while still a senior student at Asfendiyarov Kazakh National Medical University. After graduation she continued working as a doctor. From the very beginning of the pandemic, she was actively working on the front line - Aknur and the team had more than 30 calls a day. In comparison during the period before the spread of coronavirus, the figure was almost half less.
Goal 4. Quality education
Saltanat Nuriyeva Founder of 'Now' school for children
In 2018, Saltanat, through her own efforts, built a school in her village Tonkeris. Today, about 100 children from eight nearby villages are studying English, German and Chinese and mathematics at 'Now' school. Students actively participate in Olympiads and apply for international programs. The project is also supported by volunteers who help with teaching English to children and share their own experience of studying abroad.
Goal 5. Gender Equality
Leila Mardenova Participant of the UniSat nanosatellites educational program
In a team with other girls, she participated in the creation and launch of a nanosatellite into the stratosphere. Important data on radiation, pressure, gravity, light and gas composition of the Earth have been collected thanks to this program. These data are being analyzed today. In the future, the project participants plan to launch a nanosatellite using a carrier rocket to an altitude of 500 km, and Leila herself intends to popularize science among girls.
Goal 6. Clean water and sanitation
Kamshat Tussupova Hydrological Scientist, Researcher at Lund University, Sweden
Kamshat is actively working on studying and solving the problems of access to drinking water and sanitation for Kazakhstan people, living in rural areas. In the next five years, Kamshat, together with her colleagues, intend to study the state of water resources and sanitation in Kazakhstan's villages.
Goal 7. Affordable and clean energy
Ainur Sospanova Chairman of the Board of Qazaq Green Association of the Renewable Energy
Ainur has more than 10 years of experience in the development of renewable energy sources. She participated in the development of Kazakhstan's Concept on Transition towards Green Economy until 2050 and she is one of the developers of legislation to support renewable energy sources. Today, Ainur helps companies and investors to implement green energy and decarbonization projects.
Goal 8. Decent work and economic growth
Oksana Sorokina CEO of SevenR transport company
Oksana has more than 20 years of experience in the field of logistics. During the pandemic, she was unable to keep her business afloat, but found new clients. Today Oksana is focused on reforming the market and replacing the competition strategy with collaboration among participants in the logistics sector.
Goal 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Alena Tkachenko Co-founder and CEO of Nommi
Nommi is a hardware company in Kazakhstan, successfully crowdfunded on the Indiegogo international platform, and is now featured on Amazon in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom. As part of her social activities, Alena organized a non-profit foundation to improve STEM education and digital literacy among schoolchildren in Kazakhstan - StudyCS. Alena is also interested in AI ethics and Central Asian culture.
Goal 10. Reducing Inequality
Akmaral Karlybayeva Project manager at Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia
Over the past eight years Akmaral has been working in the NGO sector, seven - in the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia - coordinating projects on human rights. In 2018, Akmaral stood at the origin of the Accessible Kazakhstan project, the purpose of which was to protect and ensure the rights of people with limited mobility to free movement, and equal access to facilities and services in Kazakhstan, in accordance with international standards. Within the framework of the Accessible Kazakhstan project, an online accessibility map and a mobile application were developed, which displays information about the accessibility of public facilities for safe and comfortable visits and for use by all residents of the country.
Goal 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
Anel Moldakhmetova Expert on urban science, Director of the Centerfor Urban Science at Almaty Management University
Anel works with the concepts and production of projects related to the urban environment, and is the founder of the Cityzenspace bureau, the creative producer of the Watershead program, Creative Producers International, in Bristol, UK. Archcode Almaty was one of the large-scale projects on which Anel worked. This project researched the architectural identity of the city. The project is an online catalog of 100 of the most significant buildings in the former capital of Kazakhstan in the Soviet-era. In addition, Anel launched Urban Talks educational platform - which brainstorm discussions on the development of the city.
Goal 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
Nargiza Rashitova Head of the volunteer movement "Dobryaki Shymkenta"
Nargiza has been volunteering for eight years. Three years ago, she founded the "Dobryaki Shymkenta" movement - today 45 people are participating continuously in her projects. Nargiz and her team not only help those in need, but also promote conscious consumption. For example, they opened a social store where things get a new lease of life. And they also launched a charity environmental project “Caps give life”. This is a collection of plastic caps, which is aimed at helping children with cancer, as well as cleaning the city and attracting children and adults to jointly solve environmental and social problems.
Goal 13. Climate action
Nastya Goncharova Climate activist
Since 2010 Nastya has been working as an independent researcher, officer of cross-cultural projects, certified trainer and mentor of programs for creative entrepreneurship development (together with Impact Hub Almaty and Goldsmiths, University of London). She is actively interested in the problems of global climate change. The daughter of a hydrogeologist and glaciologist, as a child she spent a lot of time on expeditions, so she understands how the physical processes associated with mountains, glaciers and water work. She was a speaker at TEDx Almaty / COUNTDOWN in 2020. Nastya mainstreams CEO activism and ESG in the business environment.
Goal 14. Life Below Water
Gaziza Yerzhanova Leading Environmental Protection Specialist
She began working in the seaport of Aktau as soon as she has graduated from university and has been working in the labor protection and industrial safety service for 12 years. Gaziza knows all about production processes and the associated environmental risks. Every month, together with laboratory assistants, she organizes the sampling of sea water, air and soil, analyzes indicators and prevents environmental pollution. Presently, she is working on an OSCE project for obtaining the status of a green port in the Caspian Sea for the Aktau port.
Goal 15. Life On Land
Raikhan Mukhametzhanova Forester
Raikhan is the only female forester working in the Ile-Alatau National Park. Raikhan has been working in this position for 14 years. She monitors the order and sanitary condition of the forest, protects trees from the wind. In addition, one of her important duties is to protect the forest from fire and to take appropriate measures in the event of a fire. Once Raikhan had to climb a mountain with 20 liters of water on his back to save nature.
Goal 16. Peace. Justice and Strong Institutions
Kundyz Utebekova Attorney at the Almaty City Bar Association
Kundyz is one of the best known defenders of the rights of persons who have suffered from sexual and domestic violence. She provides victims with various kinds of legal assistance: consults, participates in pre-trial investigations in all law enforcement agencies and courts. The lawyer also participated in working groups on the development of draft laws on domestic violence and sexual harassment. In addition, Kundyz actively covers the problem of domestic violence in her blog and media.
Goal 17. Partnerships for the Goals
Larissa Khlopayeva Coordinator of the "Silver Volunteering" project in Pavlodar
Together with other volunteers from Pavlodar, Larissa works in three directions: promoting cultural heritage, addressing environment concerns and helping those in need. In addition, she actively works with the elderly by helping them to spend time with benefit. Larissa is Deputy Chairperson of the Board of the Slavic Cultural Center Public Association of Pavlodar region. This association, together with the members of the Literary Club of the public library “Gift of Russia”, provide assistance to children from the Children's Home, the Women's Crisis Center and the Mother's House. Also Larissa is a member of the Club of 28 loops of Pavlodar city whose members knit warm clothes from 100% wool for premature born babies, helping them to restore in less time.
This project is developed within the framework of the United Nations (UN) Joint Program on Aligning Policy and Financing with the Sustainable Development Goals in Kazakhstan and is aimed at the promotion women in all sectors to achieve sustainable development. The program is funded by the United Nations Joint SDG Fund and implemented by three UN agencies - UNDP, UNICEF and UN ESCAP.
Originally published on UNDP Kazakhstan Exposure