This talk offers a first-person account of women’s mobilisation against banking and microfinance sectors in Kyrgyzstan. It focuses on the key factors for the evolution of the anti-debt movement, and women’s political strategies to problematise interest and to denaturalise the discourse of financial inclusion. For many years, the financial industry has operated a gendered process of neoliberal capital accumulation under the guise of empowerment, which has produced tensions between transnational capital and marginalised women. Building upon in-depth interviews with the leaders and activists of the anti-debt movement and borrowers, I will explore intertwined themes of gender, class and capital. It contributes to the literature on post-Soviet politics by challenging the dominant elite-centred frameworks, which are inadequate to explain local movements and gendered activism.
Dr Elmira Satybaldieva is a scholar in Eurasian politics and development, currently based at Conflict Analysis Research Centre, University of Kent. Her main area of research interest is politics in the post-Soviet space, with a particular focus on grassroots activism and international development in Central Asia. She is currently researching Chinese, Russian and western investment strategies in Central Asia and their varied implications for the region. She has been researching the region for over 13 years, contributing to its scholarship and aid expertise. Previously, she worked at the American University-Central Asia and the Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland, and had fellowship at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University.
Seminar Room 6