Illuminating Rural Kyrgyzstan: Kaiyrkul Kurmanbekovna Bakytaeva's Journey

March 4, 2024

Bakytaeva Kaiyrkul Kurmanbekovna - researcher at the Research Institute of Energy and Economics, led the Balykchinskaya Distribution Zone for more than 10 years

UNDP / Kyrgyzstan

Kaiyrkul Kurmanbekovna Bakytaeva's journey is a testament to dedication and perseverance in the energy sector, spanning over four decades from her humble beginnings as an electrician to her tenure as the former Head of the Balykchy Distribution Zone.

In 1978, Bakytaeva embarked on her career in the energy field as an electrician at the Balykchy Distribution Zone. Fueled by ambition and a thirst for advancement, she swiftly ascended the career ladder, progressing from a dispatcher to a senior dispatcher, ultimately assuming the leadership of the Distribution Zone. Her appointment as the head of the Balykchy Distribution Zone coincided with a challenging period in the early 2000s, marked by economic hardship, widespread poverty, and rampant electricity theft in the city.

"The population was struggling, and electricity theft was rampant. When the previous head of the Distribution Zone departed, many potential male candidates shied away from the responsibility and workload. But I wasn't intimidated."

Navigating the male-dominated landscape of the energy sector, particularly in power grid operations, presented formidable challenges for Kaiyrkul Kurmanbekovna. She emphasizes the necessity of earning respect and authority from her team, underscoring the significance of prevailing patriarchal norms and cultural expectations. Despite these obstacles, Kaiyrkul Kurmanbekovna's exceptional leadership and unwavering commitment not only earned her acceptance among her male counterparts but also established her as a trailblazer for women in the industry.

"In the realm of electrical networks, women are scarce. To be embraced as one of their own and entrusted with leadership, a woman must excel impeccably".

Even in retirement, Kaiyrkul Kurmanbekovna's passion for the energy sector remains undiminished. She continues to contribute to its advancement as a researcher at the Research Institute of Energy and Economics. Her remarkable journey epitomizes resilience, hard work, and an unwavering passion for her craft, serving as an inspiration for aspiring individuals to pursue their dreams despite adversity.