Viewing results 1 - 6 of 4

Kazakhstan soars on gender data transparency amid mixed results from rest of Central Asia

Open Data Watch, an international non-profit organization supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, published in late 2023 a Gender Data Compass (GDC) report on the availability and openness of 53 key gender indicators in 185 countries. With numerous outlets and articles celebrating international women’s day last week, now is a good opportunity to revisit this important document to see where Central Asian countries rank in the world in terms of gender data transparency. The most interesting finding from the report is Kazakhstan’s remarkable success: The country has secured a coveted fourth position globally, coming just behind Great Britain, South Korea and Denmark, and is the only country from Central Asia that entered the top five. By comparison, Kyrgyzstan holds the 45th place out of 185 countries, Uzbekistan the 56th, Tajikistan the 159th, and Turkmenistan holds the 171st spot. The United States, on the hand, came in 48th globally. The GDC provides information on national gender data systems and the environment in which they operate. It investigates whether a country has policies and laws that encourage the production and dissemination of official gender data, as well as the strengths of their regulatory frameworks, funding structures and national capacities in terms of ability to support transformative changes. Kazakhstan has scored 60 out of 100 on both “openness” and “availability” of its gender data, according to Open Data Watch. It is important to note that the front runner of the rankings, the United Kingdom, has scored just 55 on “availability” and 74 on “openness”, underlining a need even in developed countries for improving gender data coverage gaps and publishing data in more open and available formats, among other things. The goal of this report is to provide necessary insights and serve as a practical guide to relevant national authorities as well as to their partners to take effective action towards gender equality.

Child Brides, Forced Marriages Among Gender Equality Topics

Kyrgyz Ombudsman Dzhamilya Dzhamanbaeva met with USAID's Senior Global Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, Jamille Bigio in Bishkek. According to the ombudsman's office, the parties discussed important issues in the protection of freedoms and human rights. The key topics of conversation were reportedly the problem of early marriage among women in Kyrgyzstan, and the protection of children's rights. The ombudsman's office cited an example of a 15-year-old girl being married against her will to a much older man. "There is an urgent need to support victims of early marriages, because they are exposed to domestic violence... For example, a 23-year-old mother of three approached the Ombudsman Institute complaining of domestic violence. As it transpired, she had been forcibly married at age 15 to a man three times her age," Dzhamanbaeva said. The ombudsman stated that her office receives many appeals from girls complaining about domestic violence, and its review has revealed facts about forced early marriages. According to the Institute, such egregious facts are not isolated in Kyrgyzstan, and there is a need for the government to take measures to prevent them. In the past, human rights activists have repeatedly stated that the police are reluctant to consider cases of domestic violence, because the spouses very often reconcile, and the victim withdraws her statement. Furthermore, the Supreme Court has recognized that police systematically fail to prosecute domestic violence cases, "because of widespread misconceptions and gender stereotypes present at all levels of law enforcement and judicial systems." "The police often see no need to intervene in what they consider to be 'private matters,' and do not recognize domestic violence as acts requiring preventive measures or investigation," noted a Kyrgyz Supreme Court report. As a result, law enforcement officials often try to dissuade victims from filing a formal complaint. The situation is similar regarding the practice of bride kidnapping. However, under public pressure, in 2019 the Kyrgyz authorities toughened the punishment for kidnapping girls in order to marry them. According to the criminal code, this offense now carries a prison sentence of 5 to 10 years. Additionally, the fine for forcing girls under the age of 17 into marriage can be up to 200,000 som ($2,200). The ombudsman also said a new bill is being drafted to strengthen the mandate of the ombudsman's office and allow representatives to participate in closed-court sessions involving children. "Currently, the institute's employees are not allowed to attend such sessions, [as per] the criminal code. In this regard, we have no opportunity to ensure the protection in court of the rights of children who have been abused. With the adoption of the new law, we will be able to monitor closed trials," the ombudsman emphasized. USAID's representative, Bigio noted the importance of strengthening cooperation on the protection of children's rights and the development of mechanisms to protect against early marriage, saying that USAID is ready to continue to cooperate with the government of Kyrgyzstan, authorized bodies and human rights defenders and to provide all of...

Women in Uzbekistan May Now Drive Buses and Heavy Trucks

Labor code regulations in place in Uzbekistan since 2018 that prohibited women from driving vehicles with a capacity of 2.5 tons or more, and buses with a capacity of more than 14 people, have been abolished by new rules which came into force on February 12, 2024. According to the Ministry of Transport of Uzbekistan, these changes were adopted to ensure gender equality in transportation and to attract women to jobs driving conventional buses and electric buses. Uzbekistan is pursuing a policy of providing equal rights and opportunities for women in society and the economy. Consequently, since May 2019, a ban on women working in certain industries was lifted, though restrictions have been retained in fields such as oil and gas extraction, ferrous metallurgy, mining, construction, and installation work. The government is also trying to create favorable conditions for women in the workplace. For example, since September 2022, women employed in the private sector have been paid maternity benefits by the state. Currently, women working for private companies receive a stipend of $160 for four months.

Turkmenistan Participates in Meeting on Ending Discrimination Against Women

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) convened for its 87th session in Geneva, Switzerland, on January 29th, and Turkmen delegates once again made the journey to take part. Myakhri Byashimova, Turkmenistan's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, headed the delegation. The gathering covered the country's 6th intermittent report on its fulfillment of the Convention on the Elimination of All Types of Discrimination Against Women, according to the press office of Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Turkmen delegation provided data on improvements that took place between 2018 and 2023 in the spheres of legislative issues, economy, regulation, and society and culture. The CEDAW’s current working session will run until February 16th. The United Nations General Assembly ratified the international convention known as CEDAW in 1979, requiring member nations to fight all forms of discrimination against women. CEDAW comprises one of the eight principal United Nations human rights conventions. Its mission is to underline that women's rights are tantamount to human rights overall.

Start typing to see posts you are looking for.