Archive for October 11, 2010

A Kazakh Woman must have 40 souls

That’s enough for now about “Two Kyrgyz Women” if you have been reading my blog for the last several days.  One of my more astute Kazakh students wrote  on an interesting article on women’s issues. This astute student had chosen this journal article titled “The Relationship of Women’s Role Strain to Social Support, Role Satisfaction and Self-Efficacy.”  She wrote about her own Kazakh culture and how this related to the article.  I learned something from my student, I hope to learn a LOT of things from my students who are really teachers.  Here’s what Ainagul wrote:

“In our country the situation is rather different, because 1) of our mentality.  Please here think that a woman must handle everything, she must have a baby, keep the house, have a job, serve the guests, etc.  Even we have a saying, “A woman has 40 souls.” which means that nothing can break down a woman, she has a power to cope with all the problems.  Furthermore, according to our mentality, a woman mustn’t share the household with her spouse.  In a family, the role of husband is a provider, he brings money to house while a wife makes everything prepared for him at home. And that’s normal.

2) We have very few centres which are concerned in women’s psychological state.  For example, in Aktobe we have only centre where married women can come and ask for help.  It’s call “Umit” (hope) and a year ago was lead by Jennifer (we called her Jenny), a volunteer from Peace Corps, but now I don’t know who is the head. They conducted seminars and gave opportunities to women to cope with their marital problems.  I think, that is a great work.  If we had more such centres all over the country, maybe the range of divorce would lessen.

3) mostly employers give vacancy for unmarried women, they think that married women have more problems (with family, babies, etc.) That’s why unmarried lady has more chance to get a job.  Anyway, the situation is changing and I hope, in the near future, there will be no discrimination and women have less role strains.

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