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University of Geneva

Bucerius Pre-Doctoral Grant

What Women Want? Women in Protest in Central Asia


The resurgence of a traditional patriarchal society in Kazakhstan has prioritized men in public spheres of life. However when it comes to protests we often see women in lead. Is public activism of women indicative of absence of alternative fora for dialogue and grievance manifestation? Or does it indicate relative freedom of public expression for women? How does participation in protest transform the role and place of women in the society?

The project will highlight the conditions of peace and causes of conflict through the compiled history of protests with participation of women which took place in Kazakhstan during the last ten years. The proposed database would become a unique regional tool for academia, journalists, and policy-makers to study such questions as the effect of protests on people and society, women’s rights and gender issues in the context of political and social unrest.

Malika Tukmadiyeva holds an M.A. in Politics and Security in Central Asia from the OSCE Academy in Bishkek´12. She also received a M.AS from the Geneva Center for Security Policy/the University of Geneva’13. She has several years of working experience in the Kazakhstani civil and research sectors. She was a research intern for the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and a Visiting Research Fellow at the George Washington University. Currently, she is working on establishing a think tank in collaboration with a group of young researchers from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

2016: Tukmadiyeva, Malika. “Propiska’ as a Tool of Discrimination in Central Asia,” Central Asia Fellowship Papers, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University

2015: Tukmadiyeva, Malika, “Reform of the Residence Registration System in Kazakhstan.” Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan (2015),

2015: Tukmadiyeva, Malika. "10 Reasons to Abolish “Propiska.”, December 26, 2014. Accessed September 10, 2015

2014: Tukmadiyeva, Malika. "Kazakhstan as a Regional Talents Hub." Conference Paper, Global Entrepeurnership Week, Almaty, Kazakhstan, November 18, 2014, published by Institute for Development and Economic Affairs (IDEA).

2013: Tukmadiyeva, Malika. "Xinjiang in China’s Foreign Policy toward Central Asia." Connections: The Quarterly Journal 12, no. 3 (2013): 87-108,

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