Alga is a voluntary non-governmental organisation founded by rural women in 1995. Alga focuses on 6 areas: poverty, women’s empowerment and human rights, violence against women, women’s health and decision-making.
SRHR and Women’s Rights Landscape
Women’s health, and particularly reproductive health issues are neglected in Kyrgyzstan. Women’s reproductive rights, especially the right to safe abortion, to voluntary contraceptives and comprehensive sexuality education are constantly challenged. Patriarchal values, gender inequality, discrimination, and violence against women is widespread and persistent. The rise in religious fundamentalism in Kyrgyzstan further undermines women’s rights. Women have limited or no knowledge of their rights, including SRHR.
Alga’s SRHR Work
Alga is active in SRHR advocacy and campaigning. Organisation was at the forefront of the advocacy and awareness raising campaign launched to support women’s right to decide, when Kyrgyz Ombudsman initiated a draft law to criminalize abortion.
Alga works to extend and expand reproductive health (SRH) services to rural women. To improve rural women’s access to SRH services Alga established pharmacies in 7 mountain villages in Kyrgyzstan and provided medical centres in 3 villages with new medical equipment. Alga created Rural Women’s Support Center with branches in 3 remote villages. The Support Centers offers rural women a space to meet and discuss their issues and concerns, to get information, advice. Alga also initiated a peer sexuality education program for youth.
The Most Effective SRHR Advocacy Strategies
According to Alga, effective advocacy has many elements, among them creating networks and expanding partnerships, building capacity of grassroots organisations, lobbying decision makers, working with media, and raising public awareness.