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Angry Kazakh Mothers Demand More Government Support, Response

The women demanded that Mayor Baqytzhan Saghyntaev meet with them while chanting, "Saghyntaev, come out!" The mayor sent two emissaries instead.

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Dozens of mothers, some of whom have children with medical conditions, have gathered at Almaty's city hall days before International Women's Day to demand city officials increase support to families.

The women entered the building of the city administration on March 5, demanding that Mayor Baqytzhan Saghyntaev meet with them and chanting, "Saghyntaev, come out!"

The women complained that they had been added to the city administration's list for distribution of free apartments to families in need, but had failed to move up despite being on it for years.

The women also demanded more financial and social support for handicapped children.

Saghyntaev did not meet with the women, sending the chairwoman of the city administration's directorate on social issues, Nazira Toghyzbaeva, and the deputy chief of the housing directorate, Ermek Amirov, to talk to the women.

The two officials explained that the state program on the distribution of free apartments to families with lower incomes is being implemented and that all families included on the list can follow the process online. They added, however, that special programs for supporting families with several children, as well as those with handicapped children, have yet to be worked out.

In the capital, Nur-Sultan, dozens of mothers have been demanding increased social allowances since late February. Many have spent several nights camped inside the building of the city administration.

Earlier this week, 32 mothers in Nur-Sultan officially filed their demands with the Ministry of Social Support, which informed them that they will receive an official response in mid-April.

The women answered that they will not leave the city administration building until they receive the responses.

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