Roza Otunbaeva has been ranked among the top 40 women leaders in Central Asia

December 21, 2023, 23:01

The Uzbek national movement "Yuksalish," in collaboration with the Institute of Social and Economic Initiatives and with the assistance of experts, compiled a rating of women leaders in Central Asia.

The rating aims to recognize women with significant influence in various spheres of life in the region, including politics, business, education, science, art, and public affairs, as reported by


To determine the candidates' level of influence, experts employed both mathematical and empirical methods.


In the first stage of selection, candidates were evaluated based on their:

·       position and level of influence in decision-making (10 points);

·       quotability and recognizability (10 points);

·       social, political, and economic initiatives (5 points).


In the second stage, over 300 experts from Central Asian countries participated in online voting. These experts included ombudsmen, heads of think tanks, parliamentarians, academics, and representatives of civil society institutions and international organizations accredited in Central Asia.


Among the top 40 women leaders in Central Asia, eight were Kyrgyz women:

Aigul Zhaparova, the First Lady of Kyrgyzstan;
Jamilya Isayeva, the Deputy Speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament;
Roza Otunbaeva, the UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Afghanistan;
Nurzhan Shaildabekova, the Chairperson of the Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan;
Natalia Nikitenko, a state and political figure in Kyrgyzstan;
Roza Aitmatova, a public figure and honored worker of education in Kyrgyzstan;
Elvira Surabaldieva, a member of the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan;
Dinara Oshurakunova, an expert and civil activist of the Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society in Kyrgyzstan.


Experts have noted that Roza Otunbaeva was the first female president in Central Asia. She founded the public foundation “Roza Otunbaeva Initiative” to contribute to the development of the country. With over 35 years of professional experience in leadership, diplomacy, civic engagement, and international cooperation, Otunbaeva was awarded the Kuwait Prize in 2019 for her contributions to civil society, the public, and private sectors.