Can a woman have it all?

By Anar Kassymova, UNDP Communications Assistant

Being a woman is not an easy task. Being a woman raised in Central Asia is even harder, because there is a myriad of expectations regarding her role in society, within the family, and in the professional life. To be considered truly successful by the social standards, she has to climb up the career ladder, be a wife and have kids, and most of all, she has to enjoy it all.

Up until recently, I did not believe that these women actually exist. Up until I met them in person – three amazing women with PhD degrees in Engineering, Medicine and Law, who fulfilled themselves both in their careers and in motherhood.

This is especially important, taking into account that only 2% of women globally have a doctorate degree in Science. As for Kazakhstan, there are only 1673 females, who have PhD degrees both in Social and Natural Sciences.

The women I talked to serve as role models to me and to all the girls, who stand on the doorstep of science and innovation and who wish to make the world better. They lead with example and show that there is no need to compromise between a career and a family – with dedication and support, women can have it all.

Amina Arapova, MD

Dana Akilbekova, PhD

Aisana Sman, PhD

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