Guljamal Nurmuhamedova: I Am Part of My Family

“Water in our region – where 98% consists of desert – means much more than anywhere else. It is an interesting subject, with an interesting expert community – and it is also the subject of interest to various players. My female ancestors lived under very hard pressure, but they were leaders, and they passed this gen on to me”, says Guljamal Nurmuhamedova, Regional Coordinator for GWP Central Asia and Caucasus (CACENA). In celebration of International Women's Day (IWD2020) she shares the story of the females in her family, which shaped her own destiny: “I am part of my family”.

The history of equality of women’s rights is not a long one in general, but it even shorter for representatives of my region, CACENA. Everyone has experienced the history of this equality through our family stories. My female ancestors lived under very hard pressure, but they were leaders. They passed this gen on to me.

My great grandmother was sold to become the wife of a cruel rich man, and she was punished by her disappointed husband when she “failed” to give birth to a boy. He ordered her not to feed the newly born girl and better throw her away, so her mother did her best to keep her alive. 

Grandmother and mother of Guljamal Nurmuhamedova

My grandmother (pictured left with her daughter - click to enlarge) was forced to get married but preferred to leave her home and not be sold. She had a hard life but did her best to let her daughter get education.

My mother became the first Turkmen woman to get a diploma as a hydro-engineer. She worked for the construction of unique water management structures and did her best to give her daughters a chance to combine technical education and language skills to get access to the world of cultural treasures.

Now it is my turn to support my daughters to be strong, to be happy, to be bright. Later, my daughters will get the same task in taking care of the next generation. Luckily, the nature and severity of concerns are different for every generation. Hope and progress will never be stopped, and I believe very much in education to empower women and girls.

Top photo: Guljamal with her daughters in Moscow.

Below: Two generations in media: Guljamal's mother and daughter.