The Central Asia Feminist Participatory Action Research (CA FPAR) is launching for 2019- 2021! The program aims to advance rural, indigenous, migrant and urban poor (RIMUP) women’s human rights by increasing the capacity of RIMUP women in Central Asia to author evidence-based community research and be vocal and effective policy advocates for human rights and development justice.

Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) is rooted in movement building. Through FPAR women collect evidence about what is happening in their communities and collectively take action. FPAR is conducted by and for women. With strong, locally produced research and documented evidence, women challenge rights violation and gendered power imbalances. FPAR is a potent tool for enabling women to take control of development agendas and programmes that are affecting their lives.

Eight RIMUP women’s organisations of Central Asia have been selected to take part in the CA FPAR. This year, the programme theme is ‘Support to Rural, Indigenous, Migrant, Urban Poor Women’s Movements’ in Central Asia. The principal purpose of doing FPAR is to change systems and structures to improve the lives of women.  We interpret ‘Change’ as ‘Structural Change’ or change to structures and systems of oppression particularly patriarchy and the fusion of patriarchy with globalization, fundamentalisms, and militarism.

The following organizations were selected to participate in the programme:

  1. Initiative group- Sadoqat, Tajikistan

The initiative group Sadoqat is created by a group of women journalists of Sughd region of Tajikistan with support by alumni of APWLD Media Fellowship- Zebo Qurbonova. The mission of the organisation is to investigate women’s issues,  reflect on it and utilize mass media. For CA FPAR, they would like to understand the problems and barriers women face in access to land issues. This problem is really relevant, taking into consideration that 70 percent of the population in Tajikistan live in rural areas and the main income of families is agriculture. Land for women is the only source of income.

  1. Center of development and support initiatives NIHOL, Uzbekistan

The main function of the NIHOL is to promote the interests and protection of the rights of women and girls in rural and urban areas, especially migrant women, victims of human trafficking, women with disabilities living in marginalized area, among others. The organisation would like to understand the situation of women in Uzbekistan in terms of access to land and natural resources. Also, sustainable water management is impossible to attain without women’s involvement in the decision-making processes. Thus, capacity development of women is vital for having access to water.

  1. Public Association “Center for development and social assistance to the population “My home”- MOY DOM, Kazakhstan

The mission of the organisation is to carry out preventive work among risk groups. This includes women and children in difficult life situations, women with disabilities, children from low-income families, unemployed women, those living with HIV, and other categories of citizens in need of care or social assistance. The organisation has the experience of conducting surveys of schoolchildren at the request of the Department of Education of Karaganda region.  The surveys aim to reveal facts around violence and ill-treatment in schools. It also conducts studies among mothers with many children.  Most of them lack economic opportunities and face vulnerabilities to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.

  1. Public Association Women Support Centre” (WSC), Kyrgyzstan 

The organization aims to promote the rights and empowerment of women in Kyrgyzstan through the development of gender equality principles. One of the main tasks of the organization is to support the government in improving the status of women: protecting and promoting their rights, increasing their capacity, conducting various educational programs, lobbying laws to promote women’s political, economic, and social rights. WSC has conducted more than 10 studies on women’s rights issues. In this program, WSC is going to explore migration issues such as: the impact of migration to the economic and social status of women; women’s access to education, medical services; the impact of migration to the health of women, including reproductive health as well as to violence against women.

  1. Public Foundation “Positive Teens”, Kyrgyzstan

The goal of the foundation is to develop and support initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life of people living with HIV, especially adolescents, girls, and women by supporting the state and civil society in the provision of medical and social services. The research topic focuses on overcoming stigma and discrimination against women living with HIV, including self-stigma, the level of domestic violence, vocational education opportunities for girls, sexual and reproductive health, and employment opportunities for women in rural areas. The area of the study will cover the three regions of Kyrgyzstan: Chui, Osh, and Jalal-Abad.

  1. Public organisation “League of women lawyers”, Tajikistan

LIGA’s  activity is based on the coordination and implementation of various programs and projects aimed at achieving social development, equal access to opportunities for women and their families, prevention of domestic violence, call for gender equality/equity in all spheres of activity, involving state, law enforcement, and judicial authorities. It has 6 branches in different districts and region of TJ. The organisation is experienced in documenting different women-related issues. Considering that many projects of the league are carried out in rural areas, it proposes to conduct research among vulnerable women living below the poverty line, in the areas of Khatlon oblast – Vose, Vakhsh and in Dushanbe City. It also proposes research questions around the situation of domestic violence and women’s participation in the decision making process. The league believes that women from the grassroots should be responsible for themselves in identifying and solving their problems.

  1. Center of social and legal support for women and children “Mehrzhon”,Uzbekistan

The mission of the organisation is to improve the socio-economic status of women and protect the rights of vulnerable women, especially in rural areas. It also reviews the implementation of local and international laws that protect women’s rights. The organisation would like to understand rural women issues, unemployment rate, education status, health issues, including mental health and lack of access to information.

  1. Public Organisation, Nurzholber, Kyrgyzstan

 The main mission of the organisation is to protect vulnerable women including women migrants. The organization conducts consultative service to migrants, support the victims of human trafficking. In CA FPAR, the organisation would like to explore the impact of migration issues towards women, including internal and external labor migration. This reality negatively affects the health and family values. Women face discrimination, and in some instances, they are treated like slaves.  A pre-departure orientation for women migrants will be delivered. Also, the situation of migrants’ children left at home will be investigated as well.