UNDP contributes to the building future of women's leadership in STEM

571 participants in “STEM4ALL x Mentoring Her” build the future of women's leadership in STEM and “STEM4ALL Community” partner organisations share best practice in promoting STEM in Kyrgyzstan

January 29, 2024


320 mentees and 251 mentors participated in the “STEM4ALL x Mentoring Her” project. The project aims to increase girls' and women's participation in STEM. Project participants received lectures from experienced professionals on time management, leadership, emotional intelligence, critical thinking and financial literacy. Participants also developed their own learning roadmaps, identifying key steps to achieve their career goals with the support from their mentors.

Meanwhile, “STEM4ALL Community” partner organizations were invited to the ceremony to showcase best practices in STEM promotion and highlight partnerships between different stakeholders in science, technology, and innovation.

The “STEM4ALL x Mentoring Her” mentoring programme provided participants with access to Stem4allmentoring Her, an experimental digital platform that opens up new opportunities for girls' learning and development by providing the necessary learning and support from regional and international mentors.

In Kyrgyzstan, gender stereotypes and limited access to resources result in women making up only 31.1% of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduates. This is clearly insufficient for women's active participation in the digital and green transformation processes that are shaping future professions. The UNDP report "Needs Assessment of STEM Women in Kyrgyzstan 2022" identifies the critical issue of low public awareness of STEM opportunities in the labour force. In response to such needs of women, UNDP initiated a mentoring project "STEM4ALL x Mentoring Her" with the support of the Government of Japan under Digital x program, and the project was implemented by the International Public Foundation "Roza Otunbayeva Initiative". The project is actively supported by partner organisations in the field of technology, science and innovation to create a community of practice. These initiatives aim to promote STEM learning for the future of work.

Dogdurkul Kendirbaeva, Minister of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic, emphasised the active development of STEM in education. "In the era of globalisation, the whole world is paying special attention to the development of STEM, and Kyrgyzstan is not lagging behind this trend. In order to improve the quality of STEM education, work is being done to improve the professional skills of teachers and to introduce a new generation of textbooks into the educational process. Thousands of teachers will soon be equipped with personal computers, which will create the conditions for uploading STEM lessons and increasing their accessibility in order to establish feedback with students".

Alexandra Solovieva, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kyrgyzstan, noted that UNDP's STEM4ALL x Mentoring Her and STEM4ALL Community initiatives are primarily aimed at removing barriers and supporting women's leadership in science, technology and innovation: "I would like to draw your attention to the fact that while we celebrate the importance of STEM in shaping future development, equal participation of women and men is critical to this agenda... Today we have successfully completed the Digital x Mentoring Her initiative in Kyrgyzstan. We joined hands to bridge the digital divide by fostering partnerships in the STEM4ALL community. Recognising STEM skills as catalysts for green and digital transformation, we must ensure that women and youth are not left behind".

Roza Kayykova, Executive Director of the International Public Foundation "Roza Otunbayeva Initiative", noted the importance and necessity of projects supporting girls and women in STEM. "Since 2013, the foundation has been doing a lot of work to attract women to STEM through various projects and initiatives. The STEM4ALL x Mentoring Her project has proven that mentoring support is an effective form of supporting and promoting girls and women in STEM fields. The Foundation will continue experimenting with the Stem4allmentoringHer, the digital mentorship platform, which gives girls the opportunity to be mentored by STEM professionals from around the world/region in English, which is another added value."

H.E. Hideki Goda, Ambassador of Japan to the Kyrgyz Republic noted that women's empowerment is one of the most important policy areas. " the realization of gender equal society is positioned as the most important issue in determining the framework of 21st century Japan, and Japan is taking strong measures to improve the situation... The Government of Japan has set the target to implement measures to increase the proportion of women in leadership positions to about 30% of the total as early as possible.”

Baktygul Zholdosheva, a mentee participant in the “STEM4ALL x Mentoring Her” project, expressed her gratitude, noting that the project provided a unique opportunity for mentees to not only find mentors, but also share valuable life experiences. I intend to keep in touch with my mentees and we are already considering the idea of forming a group to meet regularly to further develop together."

Zhanaiym Abdrakhmanova, another mentee participant from At-Bashy district of Naryn, shared her experience, noting that she not only received a lot of useful information, but also developed a roadmap for her own development. She emphasised that the opportunity to join online training has significantly broadened the horizons for many project participants.

On 27 January 2024, the “STEM4ALL Award 2024” ceremony for successful participants of the “STEM4ALL x Mentoring Her” project and outstanding “STEM4ALL Community” partner organisations was held in Bishkek.

All STEM4ALL Community partner organisations are invited to the ceremony to showcase best practices in STEM promotion and highlight partnerships between different stakeholders in Kyrgyzstan. (For more information about #STEM4ALL initiative, please follow the link1, link2)

“STEM4ALL AWARD 2024” winners:

Winners within the framework of the "STEM4ALL x Mentoring Her":

🏆Best mentor: Nuraiym Turusbekova 

🏆Best Mentee: Kamila Alisherova 

🏆 Best Regional Mentor: Aizhan Sulaimanova 

🏆Best Regional Mentee: Kyzjibek Anarbayeva 

🏆Best Motivator Mentor: Ulan Mambetakunov

Winners within the framework of the “STEM4ALL Community”:

🏆 Best STEM4ALL Community Partner: Centre for Civic Education and Electoral Technologies of the Central Election Commission of the Kyrgyz Republic 

🏆 Best STEM Practice: "Programmer Ayimdar" project of the Kyrgyz Association of Software and Services Developers and High Technology Park

🏆 Best STEM Educational Partner: Kyrgyz State Technical University named after I. Razzakov. 

Representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Council on Women's Rights, Children's Rights and Gender Equality under the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic, UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic, the International Public Foundation "Roza Otunbaeva Initiative" and the independent experts took part in the process of determining the finalists of the nominations based on the online nomination votes of 554 people.

The ceremony became a platform to highlight the best practices of partner organisations and individual contributions to preparing the young generation for future professions.


Event record (valid for one month, access code: Xtn*d$x3)

Photos from the ceremony at the link

For more information about the mentorship programme:

Ainagul Abdrakhmanova: 📧 ainagul.abdrakhmanova@undp.org, 📞 +996 770 755776

Saltanat Adylbek: 📧 saltanat.adylbek@gmail.com, 📞 +996 555850707