• KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 7

UNDP and Samruk Kazyna Support Socially Vulnerable Young People in Kazakhstan 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan’s National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna JSC have signed a non-financial statement of intent on cooperation to support socially vulnerable young people in the regions of Kazakhstan. According to a report issued by UNDP Kazakhstan, the agreement will also promote responsible business practices addressing potential human rights violation risks, and introduce principles of gender equality to overcome gender discrimination in companies associated with the Samruk-Kazyna Fund. Gibrat Auganov, Managing Director for Corporate Governance, Social and Labour Relations and Occupational Health and Safety of Samruk-Kazyna JSC, commented: "As part of our cooperation with the UNDP, we are launching an internship programme at our companies to support socially disadvantaged young people from the various regions of Kazakhstan. We are also planning a number of initiatives in the field of human resources and social policy - based on global standards of gender equality and human rights protection." Over 300 young people from the Mangystau and Kyzylorda regions are expected to complete internships at Samruk-Kazyna companies this year. The joint internship programme is a key component of the UNDP regional initiative "Strengthening Community Resilience to Prevent Violent Extremism in Central Asia," funded by the government of Japan. As part of the partnership, UNDP will also provide technical support to Samruk-Kazyna JSC to conduct a gender assessment of the holding's activities, develop an action plan and provide training on human rights due diligence and gender equality. "This partnership has three main objectives that reflect our shared desire to create a more just, responsible and inclusive future,” said Sukhrob Khojimatov, UNDP Deputy Representative in Kazakhstan. “Implementing human rights standards and gender equality strategies brings tangible economic benefits. This helps businesses attract and retain talented employees, encourages innovation, improves financial performance and enhances their reputation among consumers and investors.”  

Women in Central Asia in Need of Protection from Violence

 Central Asian Countries are seeing a new wave of violence against women and girls, and the fight against their long-standing powerlessness is just beginning. In 2023, the Women, Peace and Security Index (WPS Index), published by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and the PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security, found Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan the most dangerous countries in Central Asia for women. Things were deemed slightly better in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. The challenges faced by women in the region result from a combination of factors: the low number of women in government and law enforcement, women’s lack of financial independence, especially in rural areas, a distorted understanding of traditions across populations, and a mentality in society that often denies or covers up flagrant cases of injustice.   The law is written in blood: the case of Kazakhstan According to WPS experts, Kazakhstan has progressed further than its neighbors toward equality. Still, according to Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, 69 women and seven children died in 2023 in domestic conflicts alone. It is believed that, on average, at least 80 women die every year at the hands of those they live with; every day, the police receive hundreds of calls, while thousands of women need the help of specialized protection and support centers. According to the Prosecutor General, last year 150 women sustained severe injuries and 200 moderate injuries in marital conflicts, with another 4,000 suffering minor bruises. This year, however, marked a turning point for Kazakhstani society – more and more women are recording videos with marks from beatings, posting the videos on social media, and calling on the police to punish their abusers. Even high-profile domestic abusers can now be exposed. The trigger for these changes was the trial of former Nazarbayev-era Minister of the National Economy, Kuandyk Bishimbayev, who beat his wife, Saltanat Nukenova, to death last November. Following a live-streamed trial, this May, Bishimbayev was sentenced to 24 years in prison for her murder. Even during the Bishimbayev trial, Karina Mamash, the wife of a Kazakh diplomat in the UAE, went public with allegations about systematic abuse, calling on the state to help. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urgently recalled her husband, Embassy Counselor Saken Mamash, who may be fired. Karina is now at home with her children while a criminal case has been opened against her husband. She has since reported threats from her husband's relatives. Also in May, Akmaral Umbetkalieva, a resident of Atyrau, alleged that her ex-husband, Rinat Ibragimov – the akim (mayor) of Makat District in Atyrau Region – had beaten her for eleven years and taken away their children. Ibragimov called the allegations slander. The month before, former Taldykorgan police chief, Marat Kushtybaev was sentenced to eleven years for raping a girl in his office in November 2023. Another headline from April was that a security guard at an Almaty bar who had been convicted of raping a girl at knifepoint would serve eight years in prison. The...

The 2024 UN Asian Women’s Forum Begins in Samarkand

The United Nations' annual Asian Women’s Forum began in Samarkand today, this year dedicated to the topic of “Women’s economic, social and political empowerment”. The Forum brought together delegates from more than 30 countries, including female members of parliament from countries across Asia, heads of government, and senior female staff from 40 organizations. In one session, a representative of the UN in Uzbekistan, Jeren Guven, praised the country’s recent efforts to ensure gender equality, commenting: “We are pleased to note the positive changes in Uzbekistan regarding gender equality and the expansion of women’s rights, which is an important step towards creating a more inclusive and equal society." However, another session addressed factors still preventing women from accessing quality education, science and digital technologies. It was reported that in 2022, 32.1% of women between the ages of 15 and 24 worldwide were not in education, work, or vocational training. The corresponding figure for men was just 15.4%. This difference between the genders is still significantly higher in the countries of Central Asia. According to Forum delegates, institutional barriers -- including discrimination in the workplace, unequal distribution of unpaid care and household responsibilities, and lack of decent work opportunities -- are among the factors preventing girls from transitioning from school to work.

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.