"Dear mistress Karakulova!
The Academy of Improvement
of Education (AIE) invites you to participate in the international project
"Women’s nongovernmental organizations and women’s leadership"
financed by State of the USA…"
Invitation promised Gulnara Karakulova, the teacher
of the department of the world literature and research of books of South Kazakhstan
three weeks of the fascinating presentation trip in "the country of the yellow
devil", how America
has been named by Mayakovsky.
Why has Gulnara
been invited exactly? As a director of Women’s Resource Center
which she has created herself? What organization is this and what does it do?
"Having come from distant trips
woman and American women,
Feminine look at "the country of the yellow devil"
years ago I have read information about the project "Rights of women.
Educational program for women", which was spread by Almaty
Women’s Information Centre (AWIC), - Gulnara tells, -
I was interested; I decided to participate in the competition. One day I have
got the positive reply and invitation to the cycle of seminars.
the decision to participate in the competition dictated by your interest to the
it is understanding that fact that position of women is getting worse in the
country every year grows worse, and there is no a democratic program for its
improvement. Having returned from the training, I have conducted several
meetings on spreading the knowledge in the field of rights of women, and I have
also solved to create the centre, which would realize the social programs,
defend the interests of those women, who could not do it themselves, realize
non-traditional ideas, and create job placements.
present, our centre works in four directions: educational, information, research,
and consultation. We have conducted several seminars, for instance,
"History development of the rights of women", "Discrimination of
women in language", one joint seminar with the centre of the support of women
from Taldykorgan on theme "Woman. Right. Society", as well as
sociological research of the problem of women’s unemployment.
have also a program on leadership for girls from 15 to 25 years.
your centre conduct the summer seminar in Mashat?
Yes, we worked on the project "Summer women’s camp - 99" with Shymkent Branch of International Kazakh Turkish University
named after Yassavy together with the sponsor support
of "Mobil" in gorge Mashatin July, 1999.
Its main purpose was the training of individual leadership qualities of girls.
organization consists while from seven women - volunteers. They are teachers, head
of educational work from the secondary school, students and there is even one
offer ideas, methods of work, collect and spread information, observe the
perhaps, were there interesting ideas if you have invited to America?
was recommended to the trip to America
by Terisa L.Kennedi. She
came to Shymkent and we have talked with her about a possibility
of collaboration since, to my mind, exactly co-operating, we can obtain the
positive changes to area of observance and protection of the rights of women. Terisa was in Almaty, when I have
been invited to USIS on the meeting with Nensi Linn Korbant, attaché on culture and Sandey
A. Bridzhitt, representative USAID. All documents for
the trip were made here.
-Gulnara, you were three weeks in America. Of course, you have very
much impression. Tell us what impression was opening of the America for you and which will be interesting
for many readers.
were really many meetings with leaders of women’s nongovernmental
organizations. But I remembered them particularly in New York. One of them was held in the information
centre of the library. Sara Kennedy, a program representative for East Europe, talked with us how as more literate to make
the project and value the purposes of the fund effectively, how to work with
the fund centre. This is a national official organization, organized and
supported by charitable funds. Coming to the centre, it is possible to sit for the
computer and search independently and get whole information interesting for you.
The purpose of programs of the centre is to help NGO in their projects.
is information about more then 34 thousand acting American funds in the centre.
The centre also publishes the reference books about charitable funds and public
philanthropic organizations and spreads information on competitive grant
programs. It was very interesting and useful to know about all it.
Nongovernmental women’s activity is more active now.
And sometimes its activists "invent the bicycle", not suspecting that
there is already structures are ready really to help. To help
with information, and with money.
Amina Adam, coordinator of the UN program for East Europe, telling us about the process of preparation to
the fifth worldwide feminine conference, said what profit nongovernmental organizations
could get from it.
felt openness and sincere wish to co-operate during the visit of agency of the
international development of the USA, commission on civil rights, national
centre of the management of nonprofit organizations in Washington, city
authority in Tuson (state Arizona), department of the
women’s business at the Ministry of Labour of the USA
in Seattle (state Washington), university of state Minnesota, Manhattan in New
I teach in high school, it was very interesting for me to visit universities in
Tuson and Settle. The last one is one of the largest
high educational institutions in the USA. There are about 45 thousand
students at Tuson
University and there are about 50
thousand students at Settle
University. Certainly, the
level of the education in the USA
is higher, but it is possible to argue about educational outlook. They only try
that girls should study Mathematics and Computer Science there. In this case we
have equality fro a long time. We have been told in "Microsoft" company
about the social program for their own women’s workers. We had all it. And we
can only be sorry that going to market relations we have lost our own
achievements in this plan.
the computerization of the whole country in America is a solved problem. For
instance, the computer in the bus gets data in your card and will show how many
paid trips you still have. Also, I can say about educational institutions where
a computer is so necessary thing as well as a pen and a notebook for us. It is
possible to adopt and an experience of the patriotic education at schools.
Pride for the country, flag is brought up to Americans from childhood. Respect
to law and management of the country, too. It is open an access to congress for
children. There are lessons of democracy for them in Capitol.
for the first time. But probably, you have read before it about "the country
of the yellow devil", you have seen cinema. Do you have the same impressions?
yes, and no. I was pleased that I was not already named "Russian",
but I was asked if I was from Kazakhstan
It means that it was already heard about my country here. I was impressed by openness,
smiles on faces, desire to help. We were informed that there "one man for
another man was a wolf". So, that’s why since the first days I did not
feel a stranger myself in contrast with Poland
where I have been earlier. It was advised not to leave the valuable things and
money in hotels. But it is tradition to give tips what we do not have. But
there is a service of the high level.
what do you think about American women?
are independent, business, well dressed, using make-up. The last was surprised
for me. I was told that they only dressed tanktops,
jeans and sport shoes and they did not quite use make-up.
are leaders. There are reach women among them. So, giving some ideas they also
organize the concrete deal giving women job placements, a chance to change their
life to the best. The USA
is a reach country. And the prices are high on all. For instance, the very good
dress costs about 500 dollars. Saying the truth there are cheaper ones in less expensive
shop or type as second hand. All goods in shops are very high quality,
including Chinese ones. There are not cheap goods as Turkish and Chinese which
many are in our market. I was particularly surprised that Americans are very
punctual people. They value their and your time. It is not accepted to be late
to the meeting or supper here.
you have except official meetings unofficial ones?
of the bright impressions for me it was a visit of American families in Tuson. We have seen an internal life of America and Americans. The day in
family of Robin and her husband Col
began from the visit of the church. This church is unique because the pastor in
it is a woman, and Robin helps her in good deals. For instance, there is a bank
of the products near the church, where any need person can get them. There is a
program of care for children of the nursery age and methodical program for elder
invited us to eat to the restaurant. It is tradition here, but then they
invited us to their house. Col
has got it recently and he is proud of it. The house is really unusual. It was
built by the Mexican used old known methods, direct sunbeams are not got in it,
therefore it is always cool in it even in very hot
days. New York
is as well known a city of skyscrapers. But Tuson is a
green comfortable one-story America.
There is a reservation for Indians near the city. We have not been taken there because
it was not a museum and people living there were not exhibits. So it is
necessary to ask the consent from them. But I have heard regrets
from inhabitants of Tuson that desert is made
habitable and loses its unique. They are supporters of conservation of the
nature in natural type and they show guests willingly primordial small piece of
nature exotic plants. It is possible to buy souvenirs in each city. And it is
difficult to remain from temptation to take away with you on memory for
yourself and friends a bit piece of America. And I was else pleased to
know that Tuson is a city-brother of Almaty, and it means that I meet with my American friends
again and now it is already at my home.
-À who do you want to meet again with?
Ellis Wilson, Ann Greys, Sara Kennedy, Rebekka Miller, Eliza Klos…Oh, I
am afraid that with all. Each woman, with who I have met, is a bright
personality, from whom you can learn something. The special words of thanks are
to David Kemerrer, a project manager. Due to him I have
opened for myself America
and American women, who have the same wish with Kazakhstan women to live in
civilized legal space, in friendship and cooperation with all, who wants the
world to enter into the IIIrd millennium without
wars, without discrimination on race and sexual signs.
- Gulnara, thank you for your interview. I wish success to
your centre. I am sure, it will work more effective
after this trip. And all more women will know of it.
"South Kazakhstan", Regional
public-political newspaper, ¹1 (17.
147), January 5, 2000