A group of female Kazakh scientists and entrepreneurs have received a $3,000 grant to launch an online portal for victims of domestic violence.

Uzi.kz will connect users with lawyers, doctors and therapists, and there will be articles helping victims spot abuse and supporting them to get help. The site, available in Kazakh and Russian, is set to launch by the end of next year.

The project was developed by a team of Kazakh women who took part in the annual TechWomen programme, a five-week project empowering women in science, technology, engineering and maths by connecting them with mentors in top Silicon Valley companies.

The Kazak team included: Zhanargul Izimova, managing director for retail at Russian bank Sberbank; Arailym Nurpeissova, a researcher at Nazarbayev University; Nargiza Siyabekova, an IT specialist at Kazakhtelecom; Valeriya Tyo, project leader at BeInTech; and Irina Mun, the founder of startup Hydro Lab.

They were asked to create a project tackling a specific challenge faced by their country.

“In Kazakhstan, 70 percent of women experience an act of violence by men at least once in their lives,” said Tyo during the team’s final pitch. “Five hundred women die every year. Others keep silent, because it is shameful in our society to talk about it.”

Source: Astana Times

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