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“I am hopeful now I see a potential for women’s movements back home”

Interview with Olga Djanaeva of ALGA

04.12.2014 |

Olga Djanaeva (left) at the UNFCCC

Olga Djanaeva is from Jerkazar village, Kyrgyzstan and the director and co-founder of the rural women’s association ALGA. She attended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference Of the Parties (COP) 19 in Warsaw last year. Claire Greensfelder, senior Advisor on Climate and Energy for WECF, interviewed her on the accomplishments of ALGA and the knowledge she gained during the UNFCCC.

What are some of the accomplishments of ALGA that you are proud of?
“One of our main achievements so far was that we managed to win victories for women’s land rights connected to the local agrarian reform. Single mothers, widows, single unmarried women; officially they had equal rights, but in practice this was not the case.

We also started a micro credit programme for women. We negotiated with the FINCA Financial Corporation to offer loans to rural women with very small enterprises as baking bread, buying chickens and selling eggs.  The loans were only $100 or $200, but they really made a difference.  We also provided training in developing a small business and writing a business plan.  We began with ten women who each co-founded a business.”

Has it been useful for you to attend the UNFCCC here in Warsaw?
“This is my first time at the UNFCCC COP. I am very happy to be here in Warsaw with WECF. It is an opportunity to build my personal capacity and obtain knowledge and experience from women from other countries. I am especially interested in understanding the negotiations process on climate change. It also has been important for me to attend the Women and Gender Caucus at the COP to see what they can do and how women’s issues and perspectives can be included in the UNFCCC agreements. I have really gotten a lot out of the experience here in Warsaw. But honestly, for me, it all seems to be a very slow process of agreement. There is less action than I expected, there is a real lack of political will to do something. It seems that some kind of game between countries is going on here.

But as a result of being here I am more hopeful. I see that there really is a strong potential for building and increasing the capacity in women’s movements back home.”

Read the full interview here.

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