ASTANA – President Nursultan Nazarbayev held the traditional meeting dedicated to International Women’s Day with prominent women from all over Kazakhstan in the Akorda presidential palace on March 6.
Participants of the meeting represented a variety of sectors, including the economy, the social sphere, culture, sport and public service.
In his speech, Nazarbayev congratulated his guests on the International Women’s Day and wished them happiness, health and prosperity. He noted that one of the priorities of state policy is improving the welfare of women.
“The Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy and Nurly Zhol state programmes are aimed at [ensuring] the prosperity and wellbeing of Kazakhstan. The wellbeing is best felt by women. They can see it in their children, on their tables and through the support of the government,” the President noted.
Nazarbayev stressed the growing activities of women in the country. He noted that today the majority of civil servants are women, as are 75 percent of people employed in healthcare, 65 percent in education and 40 percent in business spheres. Nazarbayev drew attention to the country’s continually increasing birth rates, noting that 400,000 children were born last year.
He also reminded participants that this year marks 24 years of independence for Kazakhstan.
“The time flew like a flash, because all of us were busy at work. Today, we see the results. We have built a state that is recognised and respected throughout the world,” Nazarbayev said.
The head of state noted that the economy is developing dynamically due to the stability in the country.
“Today, according to data provided by the United Nations, 800 million people are suffering from hunger. Each year, 30 million adults and 6 million children die from a lack of food. Four hundred million people suffer from a shortage of water. Thirty military conflicts take place on the planet every year and 40 people are being killed in those every hour. Therefore, we must treasure the internal stability of our country,” Nazarbayev explained.
At the end of the meeting, the President presented the “Altyn Alka” (Golden Pendant) and “Kumis Alka” (Silver Pendant) awards to the mothers with more than seven and six children, respectively.
The event was attended by Secretary of State Gulshara Abdykalikova, Minister of Healthcare and Social Development Tamara Duissenova, Mazhilis (lower chamber of parliament) Deputy Gulzhan Karagussova, Mazhilis Deputy Irina Aronova, tennis player Zarina Dias, women’s boxing world champion Nazym Kazybai, volleyball player Sabina Altynbekova (who became famous in Asia recently due to her anime-like look) and other prominent women of the country.
Kazakhstan is a leader in Central Asia in terms of gender equality, said head of UN Women Elaine Conkievich at a meeting with Abdykalikova at the Akorda on March 3. The county was ranked 32nd out of the 136 countries ranked in the World Economic Forum’s 2013 Global Gender Gap report.