The Central Asia and Mongolia Gender Data Portal (CAMGDP) is designed to assist scholars, academics, activists, students, and other citizens in finding gender-related data on the countries of Central Asia and Mongolia. The portal compiles quantitative and qualitative data sources, informational websites, media publications, and organizations of various levels ranging from the international to the local that work in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia. By highlighting local sources to an international audience, and providing an integrated portrait of a range of sources across these countries, we hope that CAMGDP will be useful to a global audience.
CAMGDP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC-BY-SA-4.0), so its content may be reused provided credit is given and any derivative works are also freely shared.
Why Gender Data?
Major international organizations such as the UN and World Health Organization shine a spotlight on women's issues, but their data collections, while important, are limited. National and local organizations outside of the West do collect and provide more detailed data, but often without a gender lens. In particular, information on minoritized populations or othered gender and sexual preferences may be suppressed, with discussions of these issues only available outside of mainstream organizations. This portal is an attempt to bridge that gap and remedy the lack of gender-related information by bringing together a diverse array of sources to shed light on these issues. Gender itself intersects with education, health, economic outcomes, and many other dimensions of interest to researchers.
Our Central Asia and Mongolia Gender Data portal acknowledges the limitations of quantitative data available on Central Asian countries. Due to the lack of reliable and comprehensive data, we focus on qualitative and less traditional data to provide a more nuanced understanding of gender issues in the region. We also offer guides to introduce historical nuances of each country's contexts, which are essential to understanding the current state of gender equality in Central Asia. We recognize that there are differences in development and access to resources among Central Asian countries, and we strive to provide data that reflects these differences.
Why Central Asia and Mongolia?The republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan share a common heritage as post-Soviet states, along with Mongolia which was a client state of the Soviet Union. All underwent a particular form of Soviet-style modernization, and all achieved independence with the fall of the Soviet Union. Many commonalities exist in their linguistic and cultural heritage, deriving from the influence of the Turkic and Mongolian nomadic empires that shaped their history. Since independence, each of these states has attempted to recover its cultural heritage while changing economic models, a process that can be particularly gendered as well.
Issues of economic development, political justice, sexual identity, and many other related topics can be studied in a cross-national context, with the countries of Central Asia and Mongolia forming a group that has particular import for the study of the impact of colonialism, the Soviet and post-Soviet economic impacts, linguistic and cultural minority/majority issues, and the influence of religion on gender-based outcomes.
In addition to their research interest, these countries are home to roughly 80 million people, and are therefore worthy of study in their own right.
Given the rising interest in the region, our goal is to provide a guide to everyone committed to a non-violent knowledge production on Central Asia and Mongolia. We aim to not only comprise a list of sources as a starting point for research but to assist in critical analysis of the gender-related data and publications available on Central Asia and Mongolia. While INGOs and their contribution are important, our portal prioritizes local initiatives and grassroots organizations in an effort to give them the same credit and exposure that their international and foreign counterparts often receive in Western scholarship and media. By creating a comprehensive data portal with relevant reflections, remarks, and facts to contextualize data quality and availability, we hope to help researchers find local, regional, and international initiatives, publications, and secondary sources and engage in more collaborative and egalitarian work with Central Asian and Mongolian communities that respects local knowledge.
Description and Organization of the Site
Gender-related data can appear in many different ways. It is primarily related to the rights and affairs of women and children, as well as the LGBTQ+ community. Just like in the real world, no social issue is devoid of the gendered aspect, which is why we include sources that may not have gender as their primary focus but that do engage with the gendered aspect in their work. We include not only quantitative datasets and published reports but narratives, oral histories, local discourses, storytelling, and other important types of references that complement quantitative data, often providing the only insights when quantitative data is missing. While we roughly divide the sources into quantitative and qualitative, we understand that many sources fall outside of this binary or are located at the intersection of both.
The data is divided into various sections, as well as by each country.
- The International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) section includes international organizations and institutions that engage in some form of gender-related data reporting on the region. These are organizations founded and based outside of Central Asia and Mongolia.
- The Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) section includes both regional and country specific organizations that represent grassroots efforts and local initiatives related to gender issues. This section includes Central Asian regional organizations, as well as smaller local activist efforts. While organizations in this section may receive funding and support from international and foreign institutions, they are primary located in Central Asia and/or Mongolia and their work primarily concerns Central Asian countries and/or Mongolia.
- The Government section includes official databases, publications, and press centers at the national level for each country.
- The Independent and International Media section includes media sources with a track record of reliable and fact-checked reporting and journalistic writing. This section consists of both Central Asian or Mongolia-based publications and foreign publications that regularly cover the region.
- The State-affiliated Media section includes publications that have been linked to a state apparatus or that are state-owned.
Relevant tags are provided for each data source for easier website navigation. An RSS feed is available.
In order to make CAMGDP accessible to citizens of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia, elements of CAMGDP will be available in the national languages of those countries, as well as common languages in use across the region and internationally (Russian and English).
The home page and "About CAMGDP" page will be available in all languages, and the overview guides for countries will be available in the relevant national language for that guide. For example, the overview guide for Kazakhstan will be available in Kazakh and Russian, in addition to English.
Individual resource descriptions (listed under the "Sources" tab), will only be available in English, but link to the original sources in multiple languages. Resources are tagged to identify the external resources with content available in each language, such as those listed on the Kazakh language page. We encourage readers to use online translators such as Google Translate if they need assistance with the English-language descriptions.
We welcome suggestions for useful resources that fit the mission of this site, as well as comments and corrections, particularly from citizens of the states in Central Asia and Mongolia. Please contact the editor, Ryan Womack, via the contact information at https://ryanwomack.com/contact or via the github repository for the project.
Ryan Womack, Data Librarian at Rutgers University, is the lead for the project and editor for the site. He provides data and statistical expertise, and also language background in Russian, Mongolian, as well as familiarity with Turkic languages. Further information about Ryan at https://ryanwomack.com.
During summer 2022, Aizada Arystanbek, PhD student in Sociology at Rutgers University, compiled and analyzed data sources on Kazakhstan, the initial country studied. Arystanbek provides expertise in gender issues with a particular focus on Central Asia, along with fluent Russian and Kazakh language.
This portal is meant for academic and non-governmental use only. We do not support and do not wish to contribute to any state-sponsored surveillance, especially when it comes to the most vulnerable and marginalized communities of Central Asia and Mongolia. If your organization or publication do not wish to be listed on our website due to safety concerns, please contact the editor, Ryan Womack, via the contact information at https://ryanwomack.com/contact.