Kyrgyzstan: Forum of women's NGOs of Kyrgyzstan - march against criminality

Forum of women's NGOs of Kyrgyzstan
In Kyrgyzstan there is a growing risk from criminal organizations to impact stability in the country. Criminals are organizing meetings in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
They have held a big meeting in the capital in October 2005 and in March 2006 with demands to State and requiring resignation of the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan.
One of the criminal "authorities" is running for a seat in the Parliament. Situation of threat is escalating. Citizens and civil society organizations are organizing peaceful protest marches against criminality. Women's NGOs joined these actions. Forum of Women's NGOs of Kyrgyzstan is mobilizing women's organizations to join civil society's actions. Below is information about this process.

Preparatory meetings were held in the Forum of Women's NGOs of Kyrgyzstan on 6 and 7 April 2006 on a Theme "Peaceful march of citizens for Law and Order" organized by civil society and initiated by Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society (Kyrgyzstan). Agenda was women's NGOs participation in the peaceful march of civil society representatives against criminals on 8 April, 2006 in Bishkek.

Participants were from Forum of Women's NGOs of Kyrgyzstan, Association of disabled women, Association of crisis centers, women's NGO from Bishkek outskirts, political party for Democracy, rural NGO "Alga", Bishkek women's center, El-Tar, Association of women-artists, Ayamdar, Ayaldar Kelechegi.

The following was agreed:
  1. Goal of participation as awareness raising among citizens on women's positions with regards to growing criminality in Bishkek and in Kyrgyzstan.
  2. General message from women - women's concern on growing criminality and women's readiness to resist criminality's efforts to be part of State power, to speak on behalf of people, to destabilize life in Kyrgyzstan.
The text of flyers were in two languages - one in Kyrgyz and the following line in Russian:

"Peaceful march of citizens for Law and Order" Women's NGOs of Kyrgyzstan, Don't allow break of law!,Women - for stability in the country!, Women - for the future of children!, Women United against criminality! Kyrgyzstan without criminality, Stop criminals!, No to criminality!, Kyrgyzstan needs Justice! Women for peace and stability! In criminal country - no future for children! Women - Stop injustice!

During the Peaceful March

Women were an integral part of the peaceful march. Other female participants of the march have used our violet scarves. Participants noted that women's flyers were positive and people form streets during the march were reading them. The President of the Association of disabled women Asipa Musaeva by her action - marching on streets on crutches - made very visible women's participation.

Distribution of 1000 flyers were done during the whole route of the march. Several interviews were taken by present at the march journalists on the streets people were joining the march and supporting it.

Reflection after
  1. Women's organized participation contributed to the peaceful character of the march.
  2. Women's organizations showed to other civil society organizations its solidarity and consolidation.
  3. Women's slogans enriched the general agenda of the march.
  4. Civil society will not integrate women's issues, concerns and positions without women's organizations consolidated efforts.
  5. Leaders of the civil society agreed to integrate women's concerns and issues in the following civil society actions, appeals and the next planned peaceful march.
  6. More women and not only from NGOs (medical specialists, teachers, businesswomen) would like to take part in such action - feedback received from participants.
  7. Participants and general population were disappointed by the attempts from state to stop the march and the meeting: on the day before the march state has ordered organizations to go to the urgently organized sport activities and to clean streets. Some of the planned participants could not take part in the march because of this.
  8. State is not willing to show its own citizens' appeals, protests: TV was almost silent on the march, it was showed as part of the news only. March was broadcasted at the same level as small sport competition in the city.
After the march

The next peaceful march will be organized on 29 April

12 April
  • Shooting on one of the civil society leaders - on Edil Baisalov, president of the Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society (Kyrgyzstan)
  • Civil society is signing an Appeal to compatriots to unite against criminality