On 25-28 February 2020, the series of training were conducted for the women planning to run the local council elections scheduled on 12 April 2020 in 3 project municipalities of the Public Service Improvement Project, financed by the Government of Switzerland through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The training consisted of two parts. First, the women were introduced to the changes in the Legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic «On the Elections of Deputies at Local Councils» with a special focus on the 30%-quotas for female candidates. After, the women got trained in leadership skills and pre-election strategy techniques implemented by the mobilization of the available resources.
At the practical section of the training the women had been given time for the development of their own individual pre-election programmes which they presented to other participants. The participants were supposed to provide constructive criticism, ask relevant questions and make suggestions for the improvement of each other’s programmes. In their programmes, women raised many pressing issues, including problems such as providing the population with clean drinking water, building sidewalks and lighting for villagers, and ensuring transparency of the local budget to the population. The women candidates not only developed the preliminary draft of their programmes, but also integrated creative ideas for the more effective dissemination of their electoral programmes among the villagers. One of the participants came up with an idea to put on leaflets the photos of children who get dirty when they go to school along the side of the main road.
This practical exercise helped women effectively develop their programmes, advance public speaking skills and try themselves as real deputy candidates. Moreover, the process enabled women to unite and work jointly for gaining greater success in elections. They understood the importance of the issues they had raised to all residents of their villages. In addition, mutual support among the women added them more confidence.
At the end of the training, the women reported that the knowledge gained during the training helped them to express their thoughts correctly, provided with the more convincing arguments for people, so during the election campaigns they would be able to change the situation and make necessary efforts for the life improvement in their respective villages.
“We are grateful to the project team for this training. It was very useful to me to learn not only how to prepare a constructive and decent programme where I indicate the problems I raise, but also to put more emphasis on possible solutions of the problems and my role in changing the situation for better. Today I presented the project of my platform for the first time and tried my public speaking skills. After the proposals I heard from the audience, I realized how I can improve my electoral programme. I also realized that there were problems that I would not be able to solve even after becoming a deputy, because there were things that could not be by local budget. I’m going to run for these elections, and all the information was very useful to me”- said the resident of Korumdu village of the Kumbel municipality Mamytkanova Aigul (46 years old).
Satybaldieva Bakytbubu, who came from korgon village of the Avletim municipality also expressed her opinion: «In this training on women leadership and participation in electoral processes, we have learned to identify the most vital problems of the village, find the ways to solve them and gained more information on the protection of women’s rights. We also have learned about the special mechanism integrated by Kyrgyz Law on the 30% quotas for women deputies at the local councils. As a woman, as a mother and as a candidate running these elections, I would like to see the full recognition and protection of women’s rights. In case of my success in upcoming elections I am planning to raise the issues regarding the interests of the disadvantaged groups of the population, especially the low-income families. I would say that the domestic violence is also a serious issue in the municipality. From now on, at the public meetings, in the process of municipality’s action plan development we will be suggesting to include the activities taking into account the women’s rights protection and will put efforts to accomplish them. We are grateful to Jyldyz Abdyldaeva for conducting this training”.
“I am 31 years old and work as a teacher at S. Abrakmanov High School in our village. I have never thought that one day I would be nominating my candidacy for the deputies of the local council. But the villagers, who know my attitude towards children and my efforts in raising the issues to improve the conditions for schoolchildren, prompted me to register. Of course, there were a lot of disputes in our family, my father-in-law and the mother-in-law were against this, but my husband supported me, and I decided to try. After that, I began to take part in similar trainings for potential women candidates. Then I became even more interested, and I started preparing myself more intensively for the elections. It was a high-level training today. I wanted to ask you to conduct more of such trainings”- said Alieva Asylgul, a resident of the village of Orgochor.