ASTANA – Defence Minister of Kazakhstan Imangali Tasmagambetov recently congratulated 12 female members of Kazakhstan’s Armed Forces at an award ceremony of the first national Batyr Arular (Warrior Women) contest, reported the ministry’s press service.
“This contest allowed us to find and learn about women soldiers who devoted their lives to serving their native land on a par with men and whose working days are closely bound to the military service that is an example to follow,” Tasmagambetov said.
Batyr Arular is the first national contest among women soldiers of the Kazakh Armed Forces. Photos and personal profiles of more than 120 applicants were posted on the ministry’s website and garnered a little over 255,725 votes online.
Not only Kazakhs, but also residents of countries such as Russia, the United States, Germany, Indonesia and India voted, the Kazakhstan 2050 website reported.
The contest ran April 1 to May 10 and tested soldiers’ skills in elements such as shooting, throwing grenades, operating military vehicles and swimming. Contestants also went through combat training elements, such as escaping from counter fire, shooting with machine and handguns, assembling and disassembling Kalashnikov rifles.
“This is not just a job but a lifestyle for women who decided to tie their lives with the army. This contest was a great opportunity to show our skills and love for our career,” Senior Lieutenant of Export Control Department Aliya Khairullina said. She noted it was a great honour and responsibility to be awarded by Minister Tasmagambetov, kapital.kz reported. “I’m sure all the girls gathered here feel proud to be winners,” she said.
One of the finalists, Asem Sekhimbayeva, said that serving in the Armed Forces as a woman is not as hard as it may seem and that it can be possible to serve in the army, raise children and participate in such contests, Tengrinews reported.