66th IFLA Council and General
Jerusalem, Israel, 13-18 August
Code Number: 059-151-E
Division Number: VI
Professional Group: Women's Issues
Joint Meeting with: -
Meeting Number: 151
Simultaneous Interpretation: No
The women of Kazakstan: the source of cultural development
Rosa A. Berdigalieva & Zarema D. Shaimardanova
National Library of the Republic of Kazakstan
From time immemorial the Kazak women, beginning from the legendary Tomiris
and up to to the heroines of modern times, participated in the
administration of the country and equally with the men defended the other
land. The virtuous Kazak will never chide a girl. We never put parandja
(the veil) upon woman. And in the years of the Great Patriotic war
(1941-1945)only two Oriental girls became Heroes of the Soviet Union and
these are representative of the Kazak people Manshuk Mametova and Alia
In the modern independent Kazakstan women constitute more than the half of
our population - 51,8%. The level of education with the Kazakstani women is
also higher. Per 1000 people it was 129 degreed women and 117 men, or 1%
higher. By the results of the December 1999 election to the
higher and local organs of state administration of the country 8 women (8%
of the whole composition) passed to the higher legislative organ of the
country Majilis, and 639 (10%) became deputies of the Maslihats, the
regional legislative organs. 4 women head the central organs of power, 5
occupy the posts of vice-ministers, the same number are deputies of akims
in the regions, in the diplomatic corps there are 3 women-diplomats.
The women of Kazakstan are extremely valuable political, economic and
what's of interest to us cultural resource. Their role in culture and art
can be defined as the transference from generation to generation of the
memory of the tribe, nation, mankind on the whole. In the system of
education 75% are women, in the cultural spherethere are employed more than
62% of women. They are active creators of intellectual values, carrying out
the role of conductors and keepers of national tradition and memory.
The genetic memory of country administration, freedom of thought and
freedom of expression played its positive part in modern society, which led
to the appearance of the leader-woman. The modern woman is characterized by
the avid striving towards learning, and conceiving the mechanisms of
business, participation in decision-making in the organs of state
administration, in the sphere of business and cultural activity, at home
and in civil society. Women demonstrate spirit and initiative, perseverance
and ability to use their social links and contacts in order to really and
effectively achieve substantial positive changes in the country.
In the young democratic state such as Kazakstan, culture develops in the
Women's associations and organizations are represented in all spheres of
the cultural life of the country from the folk handicraft to cinematography
and make contribution into preservation and development of Kazak culture.
With the purpose of fullest realization of their creative and
organizational capabilities, women come forward with the initiative to
create private authorized educational-cultural establishments. In the
handicraft sphere these are the craftswomen from distant places, united
into "Sheber" aul, where they create on an equal basis with men.
There in the country and far beyond are well-known the names of Aiman
Musakhodjaeva and Janiya Aubakirova, who became organizers and leaders of
highly-professional musical collectives.
- preservation and development of Kazak national culture and cultures of
other peoples of the country,
- preservation and augmentation of historic-cultural heritage,
- deepening and intensification of international cooperation,
- integration into international cultural space,
- formation of home market of cultural production and services.
In Kazakstani librarianship there are practically 100% women. It must be
noted, that the leading educational establishment of the country that
prepares cadres for work in libraries is the Women's pedagogical institute.
At present in Kazakstan there are many problems in the work of the
libraries: the under-development of legislative-legal basis of libraries'
activity, their closure due to economic problems, difficulties in
fond-formation, technological backwardness etc. But despite all this, the
women-librarians of the country are an unusual world, where there reign
high civil duty, the realization of significance of their work as the
source of cultural development, unanimity, an especial devotion to work,
desire to bring the book and thus knowledge and information to every
resident of the country. There in the Kostanai region there opened a
library, organized on a voluntary basis. Another astounding example, when
the workers of the libraries continue work even after the closing of the
establishment, because they feel they are needed. Thus, in the Kzyl-Orda
region the workers of the libraries in response to the residents' request,
continued work till the aim revoked the unjust decision.
In modern conditions every library in Kazakstan, beginning from the
National, including the specialized republican, city and ending with the
rural ones, became the informational and cultural centre. The librarianship
practice of the republic, which is more than 100 years old, create
conditions for such work. There in the work of the libraries of the y
formed the leading trends:
The National Library of the RK works upon the project of the Republican
automated library-informational system (RALIS), the purpose of which is the
uniting of national library resources and the provision of world-wide
access to them. At present the NL has 30 data bases of over 1 mln.
descriptions in volume. Firstly, this is the catalogue of new acquisitions
and the so-called "Retro" catalogue, which includes the
"Kazakstanica" fond. The data bases called "Kazakstan: the past
and the present", "Khodja Ahmed Yassaui", "Abai", "The
history of Kazakstani capitals", "The returned names" contain
within themselves the historically authentic information. The data bases
"The literary Kazakstan", "The culture, the art, the literature
of Kazakstan", "The Kazak book before 1917", "The new
literature on Kazakstan", "Nursultan Nazarbayev - the first
President of the Republic Kazakstan", "The social sciences" are
constantly updated. Of course, to preserve such volume of information is
not easy at all, these data bases require constant work on
software-technical backing. "Rukhaniyat" - this data base is being
created by the rare books' department, and in the basis of which there was
put the joint catalogue of manuscripts, rare and valuable books and it is
done in the Kazak and Russian languages. The data bases on the history and
culture of the regions of the country "Education", "The
legislation of the Republic Kazakstan" and a number of others, and also
the acquired full-text data bases conduce the quicker provision of
information to the user. Most of the leading libraries of the country such
as the National library, the Scientific library of the KazGNU after
Al-Farabi, the Eastern-Kazakstani, Pavlodar, Karaganda regional universal
scientific libraries have their own Web-sites. The first multimedia
products of the National library "The Musical heritage of Kazakstan"
and "The Kazakstani chronicle from the first Kazak newspapers in the
Arabic script" give an opportunity of preserving the information and
ensuring access to it.
- giving various informational services with the use of traditional
forms of work,
- giving informational services through new informational technologies:
the formation and usage of electronic data-bases, the development of
network technologies and unification of national library resources,
- inclusion into the international librarianship space and the world
- provision of preservation for library fonds as part of national
cultural heritage and informational resource of the country.
- development and deepening of the system of professional communication
for exchange of ideas and experience (conferences, other rums, seminars,
round tables etc.)
There in the libraries are created the libraries of family reading, also
on ecology, history, regional study. In the Northern-Kazakstani Regional
Universal Scientific Library the population is attracted by the "Library
of regional study", "Library of historic-spiritual renovation".
In a number of regions (the Eastern-Kazakstani, Western-Kazakstani and
Northern-Kazakstani) there are "the Library of youth's leasure time"
and "the Library of modern novel", that spread information among
different groups of population, especially among the youth. The club of
interest within the libraries of the Akmola region called
"Panorama", "Girl-friend", "Candle" are organized by
the enthusiastic women, leader-women. The task of the "Olketanu"
club in the Pavlodar region by the "Library and regional study"
programme is to conduce the up-bringing of Kazak patriotism, study of
history and culture of the region. By the same programmes there goes
succesfully work in the Pavlodar and Northern-Kazakstani Regional Universal
Scientific Libraries. "The Support and development of the state
language" project is implemented in the Eastern-Kazakstani RUSL jointly
with the organization of surveys, exhibitions etc.
"The day of the languages of the peoples of Kazakstan", organized
in the Karaganda RUSL and the affiliation of the National library of the RK
in Astana became the means of effective exchange of information at the
round table with the representatives of the Korean, Polish, Tatar, Ukraine
cultural centres, the organization of exhibitions and surveys. The
implementation of "the World of Kazak literature" programme in the
Karaganda RUSL gives information to readers about the whole stratum of
Kazak literature upto the new trends and names in it.
The purpose of the informational centres, created within the centralized
library system of the Pavlodar region and other regions of the country is
the collecting, storage and provision for the population of information of
socio-economic, legal, cultural and educational character. The
Eastern-Kazakstani RUSL carries out informational servicing of 17
organizations and establishments of the region. Realizing that information
and knowledge lie in the basis of the political, economic and
socio-cultural development of any state, the Association of business women
of Kazakstan (October,1995) along their tasks deems it primary the
provision to all women of access to get information on the international as
well as regional levels by means of using the libraries and the data-banks.
There into the structure of the Association comes the
informational-consulting centre with the data-bases on legislation,
economy, social, cultural, educational and other issues.
The acknowledgement of book as the primary source of knowledge and
information became the main task for the organization of the big activity,
devoted to "the world day of book and copyright" (April,23),
declared by the UNESCO and initiated by the NL RK. Besides the
demonstration of the evolution of printed production of Kazakstan at the
"Book of Kazakstan meets the third millennium" exhibition and the
round table on the significance of copyright as the basis of protection of
intellectual property there were organized several charity actions. The
biggest publishing houses of the country brought and donated their books to
the NL. During the other action "You read yourself - give it to
another" the workers of many libraries of the city from their own
private collections gave over the books to the children's homes, the homes
for the aged etc. For the purposes of book popularization and importance of
knowledge there served the action, that was organized in Atyrau city by the
National commission on women's and family affairs jointly with the NL RK
with the transference by the latter one of its 600 books to the children
home of the city.
The national culture contains within itself a system of ideas and
conceptions that was forming in the course of all the history of the
formation of a certain people and was recorded by this or that method. For
each man the recorded memory is the testimony of his inner participation,
the gratitude to the preceding generations and the object for preservation.
There in Kazakstan it was namely the women on the basis of the NLRK who
became initiators of the creation and development of the system of
preservation of the libraries' documents, elaborating the Conception of the
National programme for preservation and the draft project of actually the
National programme. There have already been made some concrete steps for
the preservation of written heritage with the use of modern technologies.
We already spoke about the multimedia products, there is coming in its turn
the third CD-ROM to be issued, representing the cultural chronicle of the
country as seen by the first Kazak newspapers in the Arabic script and
dedicated to the year of Culture support, declared by the Decree of the
President of the RK this year, the last year of the outgoing millenium.
The history of many prosperous states testifies to the fact, that at the
most crucial moments in the life of society the mobilizing strength was
derived from high civil attitude, the realization of common interests of
the citizens of the country. The leaders, sincerely wishing to turn the
events of history for better, always found the words, actions that united
people of different strata and ages. The women-leaders of the libraries of
the country direct their actions upon the harmonious development of society.
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/Batpenova G.D.,Iskakova S.K., Kanapjanova R.M.- Almaty:IPK,1997.-148 p.
- Cultural contexts of Kazakstan: Materials of the international
conference dedicated to Auezov's 100-th aniversary/Comp. by A.Kodar,
Z.Kodar.- Almaty:Nisa,1998.- 280 p.
- Kazakstani libraries in 1998: facts and figures.-Almaty: National
library of the RK.-1990.-86 p.
- The State policy Conception of women's condition improvement in the
Republic of Kazakstan: Approves by the RK President's order of March
5,1997/ Kazakstanskaya pravda.-1997.- March 6.
- Women and children of Kazakstan: Statistical guide.-Almaty, 1998.-48 p.