During my years of wondering around women’s organizations in Kyrgyzstan I could not find exactly the depth of inquiry that I was looking for. Some organization provided services to survivors, some provided training and basic expertise of the legislation, some also post-factum research. It was a pleasure to meet Anara Moldosheva, who is an indepedent gender expert. Anara is one of the leaders of women’s movement in Kyrgyzstan who is familiar with feminist theories and theoretical concepts. When she speaks, I tend to listen to every word because she analyzes the existing social structures so deeply that it takes my breath away. I am considering interviewing her about her perception of social development in Kyrgyzstan. Meanwhile, I found some of her theories on European Feminist Forum. Anara defines ideological goals of women’s movement as:
- Struggle with invisibility of women
- Fighting with gender-based distortions
- Challenging the traditional social limit/norm systems through identifying and practicing identities which are falling outside of these systems
- Challenging the existing power structures
This may sound too theoretical, what it actually means is that the existing social system works within rigid norms which make women’s needs invisible and put men in a privileged position. Most mainstream organization in Kyrgyzstan work inside this system mostly providing a little bit of liberation through providing, not empowering. These organizations emphasize social support, state and male paternalism.
The groups which work on identities which fall outside the norm, Anara sees them as alternative, she classifies as alternative unions. These could be organized Muslim women (with their claims to freedom of self-expression), lesbian and bisexual women and transgender people, women with disabilities. These groups have clearly defined clients and goals. The mainstream groups distance themselves from the alternative groups because they find alternative agenda falling outside of their agenda. Anara stresses that the first and foremost goal of women’s movement is to get women with all their diversities feel included.