Kazakh President Announces Major Initiatives to Address Gender Inequality at Global Generation Equality Forum

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan was implementing progressive women-oriented policies over 30 years of Independence, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said in his video statement at the Generation Equality Forum, which took place June 30-July 2 in Paris.

President Tokayev addressing the virtual event. Photo credit: akorda.kz

Tokayev confirmed his strong commitment to “the noble cause of women’s equality, safety and empowerment.”

It was announced that Kazakhstan has joined the Action Coalitions on Gender-Based Violence, and Economic Justice and Rights, the global, innovative, multi-stakeholder partnerships that are mobilizing governments, civil society, international organizations, and the private sector for joint actions. 

“We have established a robust legal framework topped by the Concept of Family and Gender Policy until 2030. Last month, I signed a Decree on Further Human Rights Measures, with gender equality as one of its major focus areas. Kazakhstan also promotes gender issues as a foreign policy priority in the regional dimension,” Tokayev said.

The President spoke about the decision to launch a study on the prevalence of violence against women and girls, to open resource centers nationwide, to expand access to financial and other support for female entrepreneurs. At the legislative level, the list of women-restricted hazardous jobs will be revised.

Tokayev also reported that Kazakhstan is ready to contribute to the UN and European Union-led Spotlight Initiative’s Regional Program for Central Asia and Afghanistan.

The Central Asian Regional Knowledge Platform for sharing state-of-the-art gender empowerment, violence prevention and response expertise are also among the major initiatives.

UN Women Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Alia El-Yassir said that this event is a great opportunity for Kazakhstan “to showcase its good practices in promoting gender equality at the global level, announce specific commitments and forge new partnerships.” 

According to UN Women, COVID-19 has exposed gender inequality issues globally. Before COVID-19, almost one in three women worldwide experienced abuse, during the pandemic, calls to helplines increased five-fold in some countries. The experts predict that it will take another 130 years to reach gender equality at the highest positions of power.

Organized by UN Women, the Generation Equality Forum was co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France in partnership with youth and civil society. The event has a mission to accelerate progress on gender equality issues with investments, programs and policies. 

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