Kazakhstan women sucessful in traditionally men's work

12 марта 2013, 14:50

Tengrinews.kz has interviewed Kazakhstan women who are successfully performing hard and traditionally men’s work.

Marina Volnova, 23. Honored Master of Sports of Kazakhstan in Boxing, bronze-winner of the London-2012. She started boxing at the age of 16, initially for self-defense, but then got fond of it and decided to continued with it. She is not scared of sores, traumas and pain. According to her, a boxer’s main qualities should include willpower and self-belief.

“I don’t agree that boxing is not for women. Men can do ballet! I was growing among boys and I was very fond of their games. Any sport is difficult. It can hurt a lot, but you forget everything when you find yourself on the pedestal. Boxing does not deprive me of being feminine,” Marina said.

Alfiya Kunguzhinova, 35. A stunt actor. She graduated from the circus college in stunts on horseback. She has been working since the age of 17. Alfiya believes that remaining fit is the most important for her job. Besides, fear is the main enemy of a stunt actor. “You cannot show that you’re scared of something or cannot do something; you have to step over your fear,” Kunguzhinova said.

"My father worked in the circus orchestra. I grew up in the circus and could not imagine myself working anywhere else. When I was a child, I was very scared of horses and loved them at the same time. When I started training in the circus, I got over my fear and became a stunt actor,” Alfiya said. In her job she does not want to seem weaker than men. However, being a woman, she is still forbidden to perform some of the most dangerous stunts.

“I am not allowed to do the “undercut”: this is when a stunt actor makes a horse fall at full gallop. Women are only allowed to make the falls from static positions. One of the last works I am proud of is my role in dubbing the American actress Rachel Nichols. I performed stunts for her: I was standing and driving a cart with four horses, while the coach attached to the cart exploded in the back. I made everything perfectly and mere two takes were enough,” Kunguzhinova said.

Kristina Dmitriyeva a.k.a. Kristya the Iron Balls, 27. A biker. She got her first bike at the age of 18. According to her, many Kazakhstan women are trying to go biking, but they either fall or their financed do not let them continue this hobby.

“I loved it since I was a child. My dad was a biker. He used to give me rides until I was 15. I always liked it and when I grew up I understood that I want to know more about biking. I started slowly and gradually got to where I am now,” Dmitriyeva said.

According to her, she is not the only woman among bikers and she is treated like a brother and mate. But police officers are very astonished to see a female biker and sometimes turn a blind eye on small violations of traffic rules. “We start riding only when the snow starts melting on the roads. Our first rides are traditionally held on Nauryz holiday on March 22. Then we open the season normally in the end of April or beginning of May. The opening is held differently in every city,” Kristina said.

Tolganai Yerzhanova, 26. Investigator of the Department for Investigation of Crimes Related to Organized Criminal Groups and Blackmailing of Almaty Investigation Department. According to her, her choice of the job was inspired by a famous Russian TV-show about investigators.

“After graduating from high-school, I entered the Interior Ministry’s Academy and chose the investigations major right away. Working in law-enforcement authorities is my mission. I have followed my heart. Nobody works in the authorities in our family, except for my uncle. He was against my choice, but my parents supported me,” Yerzhanova said.

According to her, she is working mainly with men, but there are more and more women every year. There is no discrimination of women in the police. “Everyone, including men will support you if you are a professional. The most important is to know your work and do it with great pleasure,” Yerzhanova said. She dreams of becoming the first Kazakhstan’s female general. Tolganai believes that strong character, initiative and sometimes toughness are the main qualities for her job.

Svetlana Kochetkova, 63. He has been working as a trolleybus driver in Almaty for 37 years. She believes that endurance is the most important quality in her job. “You have to be prudent as it will be difficult to work if you notice everything (get upset at every bad driver on the road),” Kochetkova said. She loves her job but does not believe it to be gratifying. According to her, the job is becoming more and more difficult every year because of the traffic jams and impertinent drivers.

“It was much easier when I started working: there was no such traffic jams. Right now there are much less female drivers than when I was studying. I work from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, except Saturday and Sunday, because of my age. There are no funny stories here, most of them are tragic,” Kochetkova said. Nevertheless, some of her regular passengers frequently congratulate her and even bring her gifts on March 8.

Natalya Pobelustikova, 51. He has been working as a guard since 2007. She studied to become a cook but, according to her, she “got tired of cooking both at home and at work”. After becoming a widow, she found a job with a security agency.

“I have always had a feeling that I am a tough woman. I like order in everything. And I have the sixth sense, I feel when something is amiss. I tried working as a guard and understood that that was the job of my life. If I knew earlier, I would have started doing this earlier. Maybe I would have ended up working in the law-enforcement authorities,” Natalya said.

The woman disagrees that the work of a guard is for men only. According to her, men are worse at this job. “Male guards like to lay down and take a nap. They can sit for the whole day. Men are keener to rest. I ended up working more when I had to work with men. I like the fact that men are scared of me. I can be a very soft person inside, but my job makes me different,” Natalya said. She says that she has already prevented several thefts which she was very proud of.

Polina Pavlova, 25. Co-pilot of Air Astana Boeing 757/767. She has around 1 thousand flying hours. According to her, the pilot has to be responsible, punctual, ready to learn something new and with self-disciplined.

“I dreamed of becoming a pilot and this is what I was striving for. I entered the Civil Aviation Academy at the age of 18. Being a pilot does not only mean beauty, uniform, romance and dawn behind the clouds. This is also a tough job, sleepless nights, being way from your family on holidays and weekends. But I equally enjoy my job and my home,” Pavlova said.

Photo by Saule Sergazinova©

Photo by Saule Sergazinova©

According to her, men treat women in uniforms adequately in the place where she works. There is no discrimination. “Everyone is professional and we all try out best to do our work well. We do not divide ourselves into men and women. Meanwhile, outside of work, they can be gallant and open doorы for us,” Polina said.

According to her, passengers are sometimes surprised or frightened when they see her, but nobody has left her plane so far.

By Vladimir Prokopenko from Tengrinews.kz

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