Meet some of the members of the Women in Water Management in Central Asia and Afghanistan Network.
“As a result of being part of this network I was invited recently to be a guest lecturer to Kazakh-German University and now I am looking to apply for a PhD course on water management and gender aspects. ”
Network members in alphabetical order:
Aigerim Karibay (Kazakhstan) graduated from the Kazakhstan-German University in Integrated Water Resources Management program with a master’s degree as a hydraulic engineer. She works at RSE Kazvodkhoz, the Committee on Water Resources of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Aigerim supports the Big Almaty Canal (BAC), the main enterprise supplying water to agricultural producers in Yenbekshikazakh, Talgar, Iliysk and Zhambyl districts of Almaty region. She likes swimming and self-development. Ever since she was a little girl, Aigerim has dreamed of becoming professional in demand and prominent in the country.
Aigerim is a founding Member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Cholpon Aitakhunova (Kyrgyzstan) leads Central Asian Youth for Water (CAY4W) in her role as a regional co-coordinator. Through a journey of about 5 years across different sectors (state, civil society, academia) and among various levels (national to global), Cholpon got well-acquainted with climate, water and environmental governance in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. Her main focus currently lies at the intersection of water and climate action through youth empowerment and stakeholder engagement. Cholpon was involved in organization of First Chu-Talas River Basin Youth Dialogues together with her team at CAY4W, where youth empowerment in water action is at the heart of the network. She organized the First Youth Climate Change Forum in Kyrgyzstan in 2019, and first LCOY Kyrgyzstan 2021, she served as a COY16 country coordinator in 2021; she is a member of Green Alliance of Kyrgyzstan (former coordinator). Cholpon holds an MA degree in “Politics and Security. Central Asia” from OSCE Academy in Bishkek.
Cholpon is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Farangis Ukumatshoeva Akramshoevna (Tajikistan) holds two master’s degree in Technology of Energy Efficiency and Management Hydropower Engineering from the Institute of Water Problems, Ecology and Hydropower, and Integrated Water Resources Management from the Kazakh-German University. She has served as a Specialist in Monitoring and Accounting of state water resources in the Project “Water Resources Management Pyandj River Basin” for the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO), as well as a Junior Research Employee at Pamir Biological Institute under National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan. Farangis Ukumatshoeva is always eager to take part in various scientific conferences, trainings and short-term courses on relative areas related to her specialties and professional activities.
Farangis is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Foman Forough (Afghanistan) holds an MSc of Hydraulics structure from Ferdowsi University and served at the National Water Affairs Regulation Authority (NWARA) as General Director of Kabul River Basin, the largest basin in Afghanistan, before the Taliban captured Kabul in 2021. Foman has extensive experience in transboundary water management serving in various capacities at NWARA including as acting director of water allocation, dam and river adviser, and hydraulic structure design specialist. In addition, Foman has taught courses on hydraulic structure at Kateb Private University and is a proud board member of the Afghanistan Infrastructure Transparency Initiate (COST), which works in the field of transparency in infrastructure projects, access to information, and the clean-up against corruption.
Foman is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Gulzhan Makhmudova (Kyrgyzstan) is an Environmental Sustainability Expert at the Regulatory Office for Industrial Safety in the Ministry of Energy and Industry in Kyrgyzstan. She is an active and hard-working ecologist with professional experience in Environmental Assessment, Environmental Sustainability, Mining Reclamation, Climate Change Issues, Energy and Water Security, Industrial Safety, Occupational Health, Safety, and Environment Management and has more than 10 years of experience in public service management and technical advice including in collaboration with the World Bank, UNDP, SRK, EU, Soros Foundation, and the Alessandro Volta Foundation. Gulzhan has great passion for the environment and her logo is “Go to Green – Save the Planet”.
Gulzhan is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Hadia Saboory (Afghanistan) previously served as an intern at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Irrigation, with previous professional experience from AIESEC Afghanistan, Khurasan Academic Association, Afghanistan Builders Association (ABA), and the Humanitarian Organization for Motivation and Empowerment. She obtained her Bachelor Degree in Kabul University in 2019. Hadia is very enthusiastic when it comes to various training programmes, she has already participated in courses of public speaking, women empowerment, leadership and soft skills and now she is ready to take another step forward in developing her proficiencies and competencies.
Hadia is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Lyazzat Syrlybayeva (Kazakhstan) graduated with a double master’s degree in natural resources management from the University of Padova, Italy and the University of Lisbon, Portugal. She has extensive experience working in the field of landscape architecture, as well as urban and rural forestry. Currently, she is employed as a consultant at the International Secretariat for Water (ISW). As part of her duties, she is engaged in environmental awareness-raising and capacity-building of the youth – particularly co-leading the “Central Asia Youth for Water” (CAY4W) Network – focusing on the empowerment of young people in the water sector in Central Asia and beyond.
Lyazzat is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Meerim Seidakmatova (Kyrgyzstan) graduated with honors from the Kyrgyz National Agrarian University in 2021, specializing in ecology and environmental management. She is currently studying for her master’s degree in Integrated Water Resources Management at the Kazakh-German University. She founded the student eco-club “Young Environmentalists” at the higher student council of the Kyrgyz National Agrarian University in 2019 to increase social environmental education among students. At the same time, Meerim interned at the “Urban Initiatives” and “Rural Development Fund” public foundations, the Agency for Hydrometeorology under the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Kyrgyz Republic, in the Department of Environmental Monitoring (surface water and atmospheric air). She worked on research and projects on “Revival of indigenous livestock breeding. Kyrgyz horse”, “Land of snow leopards”, in the laboratory assisted in physical and chemical analysis of surface water samples, atmospheric air monitoring, including PM 2.5, freons. Since the beginning of 2021, she has served as the project coordinator for the Kyrgyzstan Youth Network CAY4W.
Meerim is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Minura Begishbek (Kyrgyzstan) previously served at the Department of Water Management of the Karasuu District before completing her studies at the Kazakh-German University on Integrated Water Resources Management. Currently, Minura works at the Ministry of Water Management of the city of Osh as an economist, and she is a nominee of Blue Peace Story. She wishes to continue her career in the water sector as well as to grow professionally.
Minura is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Dr Sitora Mirzokhonova (Tajikistan) serves as a lecturer at the Department of Meteorology and Climatology of the Tajik National University and as a senior researcher at the Institute of Water Problems of Hydropower and Ecology of the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, and previously at the Agency for Hydrometeorology of Tajikistan. Dr Sitora is currently focused on the study of climate change in the upper reaches of the Panj River. She has participated in numerous technical projects on the Panj river. She is a meteorological engineer and holds a PhD in hydrology and meteorology.
Dr Sitora is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Narges Sediqi (Afghanistan) was born in Tehran, Iran and graduated with a BSc in GeoScience at Kabul University. She served at National Water Affairs Regulation Authority (NWARA) as Quality Control and Data process Engineer before the Taliban took over Kabul. Narges has a experience serving in different positions at Afghanistan’s Ministry of Energy and Water, now called NWARA. She was also a Rural Drinking Water Management engineer, and an Intern for GIZ and FAO. For about two years Narges had worked with Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA) and NGOs. In addition, she used to be a co-member of Quality Control of JICA and volunteer member of Afghan Astronomy Association which works in the field of planetary and space science.
Narges is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Shohida Tulieva (Tajikistan) serves as the National Coordinator for “Gender and Social Equality” in the National project “Water Resources Management in Tajikistan”, which aims to support the “Tajikistan Water Sector Reform Program for 2016-2025”, HELVETAS Swiss Inter-cooperation in Tajikistan. Shohida is the President of the Association “Woman and Water” of Central Asia and Afghanistan with the aim of developing networking and increasing the potential of women specialists in the water sector. She has contributed to the development of social, gender issues in water resources management, taking into account the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), focusing on the development of the “Bottom-Up” approach with experience in Central Asia.
Shohida is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Zhanar Naurozbayeva (Kazakhstan) is a senior researcher at the Research Center of the Republican State Enterprise Kazgidromet. Zhanar graduated from the Faculty of Geography at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University with a degree in Hydrometeorology and also received a master’s degree in the same field from Al-Farabi University. Zhanar completed her postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Meteorology, Department of Meteorology, Climatology, Atmosphere Protection at the Russian State Hydrometeorological University in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Zhanar is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
“The Mentoring Programme allows us to share experiences and knowledge and provides a platform where we can improve not only our professional skills, but also personal qualities such as public speaking, communication and self-branding.”
Irina has 15 years of professional expertise in the water sector focusing on water Management.
She studied Economics and Water Governance at the Kazakh Research Institute of Water Economy and Integrated Water Recourses Management at the German Kazakh University Prior to joining the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia ( Irina worked as the researcher in the department of Agricultural Water Supply, where she implemented and coordinated projects on natural resource management and sustainable development of rural territories As a program specialist at the CAREC within the Swiss funded Project Blue Peace, she is currently responsible for coordination of the Network of Academic societies with the ultimate goal to promote a systemic approach to water education across the Central Asia region Further, Irina is engaged in different initiatives on strengthening interaction between Small Basin Councils and Basin Organizations at the local and transboundary levels.
Irina has supported the development of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan since April 2021.
Tais Reznikova is a water resources management specialist with an academic background in IWRM, environmental management, and policy. Currently, she is coordinating the Mentoring and Career Development Programme for Women in Water and the Blue Peace Central Asia Secretariat at the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Tais has more than 7 years of experience in the implementation of projects in Central Asia in the field of basin management and planning, water diplomacy. She holds a master’s in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from Central European and Lund Universities, and in IWRM from Kazakh-German University.
She believes that only an inclusive and comprehensive approach that acknowledges the role of women in water management can be truly sustainable in the long term.
Dr Saule Ospanova, Senior Environmental Affairs Advisor, OSCE focuses on the environmental cooperation portfolio at OSCE with activities in sustainable water management, water diplomacy, disaster risk reduction, good environmental governance and hazardous waste management. She has over 18 years of experience contributing to a number of multi-stakeholder initiatives, managing and implementing development projects in different parts of the world (including Kazakhstan/Central Asia, post-Soviet states, China and Africa).
Prior to OSCE, she worked with IIED—International Institute for Environment and Development, the World Bank, UN and other institutions on development of water, climate change and energy policies, as well as sustainability and accountability initiatives in the extractive sector. Her doctorate studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor focused on resource governance and environmental justice.
Sogol Jafarzadeh is the Environmental Affairs Adviser at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna. She started her new position at the OSCE Secretariat in April 2019, where she works on environmental security in general and water management and the Central Asia Region in particular.
Prior to joining the OSCE, Sogol worked at the United Nations Environment Management Group (EMG) Secretariat, UN Environment in Geneva and at the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Iran acting as the SDG focal point and supporting initiatives on environmental security and combating sand and dust storms. She also worked at the City University of New York as an Adjunct Instructor teaching environmental sciences, environmental psychology and statistics 2010-2014. Sogol has an MSc in Environmental Sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) and a post graduate certificate in Environmental Sustainability from the Earth Institute, Columbia University in New York.
Letizia Zuliani is a Project Assistant at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna. Letizia started her position in August 2020 as an intern and is currently supporting the daily work of the Environmental Cooperation Unit, with particular reference to the Water Management and Good Environmental Governance portfolio. Letizia holds a Master in International Relations and Eurasian Studies at the University of Bologna and Saint Petersburg State University and a post-graduate Master in Sustainable Development and Geopolitics of Resources.
Letizia has a keen interest in pan-European security and environmental security in the post-soviet space.
Elizabeth A Koch (former Yaari) (United States) leads the Women in Water Diplomacy Network’s Process Support Team, supporting the Network’s development since inception In 2022 she began a new role as Senior Manager of International Programmes at the Environmental Law Institute where she will continue to work to support environmental peacebuilding programmes including the Women in Water Diplomacy Network.
She has over 15 years of experience supporting water diplomacy engagements in conflict sensitive basins on behalf of SIWI’s Shared Waters Partnership programme, the UNESCO Category II International Centre for Water Cooperation, and EcoPeace Middle East Elizabeth had the honour of supporting the design and development of both the Women in Water Diplomacy Network in the Nile and the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan on behalf of SIWI Shared Waters Partnership programme and its partners since 2017 and will be joining the Global Network Forum in person.
Kerry serves as SIWI’s Senior Programme Manager for the Shared Waters Partnership programme, a multi stakeholder platform aimed at advancing cooperation over shared water resources in regions where political tensions could be a source of conflict. He contributes to the development of research and project management in a number of fields including transboundary water management, climate change, and capacity building Kerry holds a Master’s degree in International Humanitarian Action from Uppsala University, Sweden Prior joining SIWI in 2013 Kerry worked for Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Kerry has supported the Women in Water Diplomacy Network in the Nile, since it was initiated as part of Shared Waters Partnership in 2017, as well as the Women in Water Management Network since 2021.
Katie Goldie-Ryder is a Programme Officer in the Transboundary Water Cooperation Department at SIWI. Katie supports the Shared Waters Partnership (SWP) programme, focusing on advancing SWP water diplomacy processes with a focus on Central Asia & Afghanistan and the Middle East engagements. Katie also supports the development of the International Centre for Water Cooperation’s water diplomacy curricula. She serves as the Youth Empowerment Champion for the TWC team.
Katie has several years of practical experience building networks, supporting cooperative processes and multi-stakeholder dialogues in regional contexts. She holds a Master Degree in Peace and Conflict from Uppsala University and wrote her MA thesis for the ‘Equal Peace?’ project at the PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security. Katie also holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Global Developments from Huron University College.