Shymkent Women's Resource Center
Shymkent Women's Resource Center
SWRC promotes women’s advancement in Kazakhstan through civic and legal education, professional training, campaigns to combat trafficking, and the provision of psychological and legal counseling, self-help groups, and a shelter and hotline for female victims of domestic abuse and trafficking.
Partner Focus Areas
The Shymkent Women’s Resource Center (SWRC) promotes the rights and security of women through education and training, direct services, and advocacy campaigns. Founded in 1998, SWRC is addressing many of the key issues that are hindering women’s advancement including family laws and inheritance laws, low paying jobs and limited access to credit, and gender discrimination in school, the work place, and other sectors of society. Since SWRC joined the WLP partnership in 2005, SWRC has used WLP’s curricula to conduct dozens of workshops on leadership, ending gender-based violence, engaging women in political action, human rights, and promoting democratic institutions and practices. SWRC’s constituents includes young activists, rural women, women from low-income communities, as well as government officials and policy-makers. SWRC works primarily in Kazakh and Russian.
- SWRC took part in a national discussion on the “Concept of Family and Gender Policy in Kazakhstan to 2030,” before the policy’s adoption. The policy proposal was approved in December 2016, and will be in effect until 2030. The new family and gender policy promotes equality in the enjoyment of all economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights, regardless of gender, non-discrimination in state and public life, and the eradication of gender stereotypes in society.
- SWRC conducted 22 hours of interactive trainings and seminars in secondary schools throughout Shymkent on the harm of gender-stereotyping. In a lively series of participatory sessions, SWRC staff discussed with students how gender stereotypes are formed, and how they negatively impact both men and women.
- SWRC participated in drafting gender-mainstreaming recommendations for Kazakh institutions of higher learning. The recommendations addressed how to include women’s accomplishments and perspectives in the academic subjects being taught. The recommendations were specific to lessons in the arts, engineering, technology, natural sciences, agriculture, and health studies, among others.
- SWRC has provided training to 100 girls from low-income families in career-track courses in the beauty profession, including certifications for master stylist and master of manicure and pedicure.
Organizational Programs and Activities
Women's Help Center
- SWRC operates a shelter and a hotline for abused women and victims of trafficking. Clients are provided with a place of safety, and psychological and legal services. The legal services include formalizing marriage contracts, assistance when women have been victims of domestic violence, and resolving inequitable divorce settlements relating to property division, acquisition of commercial assets, and guardianship of children.
Ensuring Women's Access to Microcredit
- SWRC provides training sessions for rural, poor, and marginalized women on how to access microcredit loans for their businesses. SWRC’s aim is to reduce women’s poverty by helping them find higher paid work or to start their own businesses. Their clients are assisted in drafting business plans and given guidance about how to take advantage of economic opportunities.