Council on Women’s Rights, Children’s Rights, and Gender Equality under the Speaker of the Parliament in the Kyrgyz Republic
Members of the Council for the Rights of Women, Children, and Gender Equality under the Speaker of the Parliament in the Kyrgyz Republic approved its’ Strategy and Development Plan for 2023–2026.
January 27, 2023, Bishkek – Council on Women’s Rights, Children’s Rights, and Gender Equality under the Speaker of the Parliament in the Kyrgyz Republic (Council) approved its Development Strategy and Action Plan for the implementation of the strategy for 2023-2026 with the technical and financial support of UNDP within the framework of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative and in partnership with the Public Foundation “Civic Platform”.
Women members of the 7th convocation of the Kyrgyz Parliament, organizations representing the interests of women and girls, and representatives of international organizations and government agencies were invited to the meeting.
During the meeting, members of the secretariat of the Council presented its Strategy and Action Plan for 2023-2026 for approval, as well as for discussion or further actions of the Council to promote the rights of women, children, and gender equality in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Isaeva Jamilya, Vice-Speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament, in her welcoming speech, noted: “The Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyz Parliament) protects the interests of the entire people, and it is the leading institution for promoting the principles of democracy, taking into account the equality of men and women in many areas of the country’s life, including politics.
I would especially like to note that the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic is interested in the effective promotion of principles of gender equality and opportunities not only in the system of state control but and in the active evaluation of gender aspects in legislative initiatives and legislation, and Jogorku Kensh plans to make changes in those areas where the interests of women and children have not been taken into account. The first effective step in this process was the creation of the Council on the Rights of Women, Children, and Gender Equality under the Toraga of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic (Speaker of Parliament), its work, along with other issues, is aimed at promoting gender equality, the rights of women and children, as an integral part of state policy.
Member of the Kyrgyz Parliament of the VII convocation, Deputy Chairman of the Council on the Rights of Women, Children and Gender Equality under the Speaker of Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mazhitova Sharapatkan, said: “The first meeting of the Council on the Rights of Women, Children and Gender Equality was held for seven months ago. Since then, a lot of work has been done by the Council. For example, the Council discussed the draft Law of the Kyrgyz Republic, “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Kyrgyz Republic in the Field of Safeguarding and Protection from Domestic, Sexual and Gender Violence,” initiated by Ashimova Dinara, MP KR; Gender audit and other activities were carried out. The Council is a platform for the exchange of experience, and opinions and for joint work of representatives of the Kyrgyz Parliament, ministries, international organizations, and civil society.”
UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Monica Rijal, in her welcoming speech, noted: “We commend the efforts of the seventh convocation of the Jogorku Kenesh, women rights organizations and activists as well as the European Union and our partners at the United Nations for their fundamental contribution to the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls under the framework of the Spotlight Initiative.
By acknowledging the challenges that lie ahead once this strategy is adopted, including ensuring that a proper budget is allocated to support its implementation, I would like to reiterate that UNDP is ready to continue to strengthen the role of the Jogorku Kenesh in order to contribute to a more inclusive and equal society and ensure real and meaningful change for women, girls, and children across the Kyrgyz Republic”.
Representative of UN Women in Kyrgyzstan, Ulziisuren Jamsran, noted: “ Kyrgyzstan in terms of women’s participation in political processes and decision-making is 111 positions from 146 countries of the world. The situation is very depressing. We are very far away, even from Asian countries. This directly affects the socioeconomic situation in the country. We know that today there is no single female ” akim” in our country (head of the local executive body of state power). This is unforgivable for Kyrgyzstan. I want to ask the Jogorku Kenesh (Kyrgyz Parliament) to pay attention and urgently take measures to resolve this issue.”
Atyr Abdrakhmatova, Akyikatchy (Ombudswoman) of the Kyrgyz Republic, in her speech, asked the Council to invite representatives of the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General’s Office to the Council’s events since many cases of violence are closed due to the lack of corpus delicti. She noted: “This is very important. For example, in my case (when a child was beaten at school), the prosecutor said there was no corpus delicti when I turned to the judge and asked if they could give guarantees that the accused would not abuse other children. After that, she agreed that the accused were guilty. Or another case, when a young man beat his girlfriend, the punishment was very light. That she must die or something so that there is an adequate punishment? It is necessary to work on the prevention of such crimes.”
Dosalieva Baken, Executive Director of the NGO “Women’s Support Center, “shared in her speech: “The state social security system of Kyrgyzstan needs to be seriously reformed, taking into account the gender aspect. The highest percentage of unemployment occurs in the unpaid work of women employed in the household. It is clear that this leads to the socioeconomic vulnerability of women. The female employment rate is only 44%. The status, rights, unsafe working conditions, and discriminatory treatment of women working in the informal economy are not taken into account. Spheres in which women work: education (78.8%), real estate transactions (95.8%), health care, and social services (78.2%), where wages are not very high.
The level of violence and domestic violence against women is on the rise. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in 2021, internal affairs bodies registered 10,151 cases of domestic violence. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, over the past two years, more than 20 women in the Kyrgyz Republic have died from domestic violence.”
Nazgul Turdubekova, Director of the League of Defenders of the Rights of the Child, noted in her speech that 2.5 million children live in Kyrgyzstan, of which 67% live in rural areas, 32 thousand are children with disabilities, there are 106 thousand socially unprotected and disadvantaged families in which more than 340 thousand children live in a difficult life situation. Since the beginning of 2022, more than 400 cases of various types of violence against children have been registered in the country. The number of children in conflict with the law has increased. 1 million 118 thousand citizens of Kyrgyzstan work in foreign countries, and 87,426 children are children of migrant parents. The current situation requires the creation of services to support families and children, an increase in the number of social workers in order to preserve the institution of the family, create safe spaces for children in the family, children’s boarding schools, and protection from all forms of violence. In order to administer justice for children in accordance with the UN Standard Minimum Rules, it is necessary to adopt a State program on justice for children, as well as to create an Interdepartmental Coordination Council for Juvenile Justice.
The Council on the Rights of Women, Children, and Gender Equality under the Toraga of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic (the Speaker of the Parliament) was established on February 25, 2022, by order of the Toraga of the Jogorku Kenesh ( the Speaker of the Parliament in the Kyrgyz Republic ) of the Kyrgyz Republic and is a consultative and advisory body under the Toraga of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic, formed to coordinate interaction on the implementation of measures in the field of protecting the rights of children and women. Council decisions are recommendatory in nature.
The main objectives of the Council are to promote the improvement of the legislative framework to ensure the observance of the rights of women and children, within the framework of the legislative function of the JK KR (Kyrgyz Parliament); promoting the implementation of gender approaches and the principle of the best interests of the child in national policies and state programs to ensure the rights and protection of children and women; assistance to state bodies in the fulfillment of international obligations of the Kyrgyz Republic in the field of protection of the rights of women, children and gender equality, including the fulfillment of obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Women, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child; assistance in the prevention of domestic violence and the preservation of privacy in the workplace with the introduction of international experience in combating violence against women , men and children; assistance in coordinating the activities of the JK KR with government agencies, civil society, international organizations on women’s rights, gender equality and children’s rights; conducting scientific research, forming an information base in order to analyze the real situation of the family, equal opportunities for women and men in the economic, social, political and cultural life of society; monitoring the implementation of normative legal acts in the field of protection of the rights of women, children, gender-based violence and discrimination.
The Chairman of the Council is the Toraga of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic (the Speaker of the Parliament in the Kyrgyz Republic). The Council includes members of all factions of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic, representatives of state structures, and representatives of civil society organizations working in the field of protecting the rights of women, children, and other vulnerable groups.
About the joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative
In January 2020, in partnership with the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic, the EU, and the UN launched a multi-year country program under the global Spotlight Initiative to end all forms of violence against women and girls. The program aims to create an environment where all women and girls in Kyrgyzstan, especially the most vulnerable, live free from violence and harmful practices, including child marriage and “ala kachuu” (bride abduction). The program includes a set of integrated policy and legislative measures, institutional strengthening, violence prevention, services for survivors of violence, quality data collection, and support for the women’s movement and civil society. The program is implemented by five UN agencies (UN Women, UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF, and UNODC) under the overall leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator in the Kyrgyz Republic.