ASTANA – The Central Asian Alliance to End Gender-Based Violence launched on June 27 in Almaty as part of the United Nations Spotlight Initiative Regional Program for Central Asia and Afghanistan funded by the European Union, reported the UN’s press service.
The initiative aims to combat gender-based violence while advancing the fifth Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality. The alliance advocates for gender equality, strengthening civil society and creating a platform for knowledge-sharing and expertise to prevent and address gender-based violence in the region.
According to the UN data, every third woman and girl in Central Asia has experienced violence at some point. Gender-based violence is considered a threat to the well-being and human rights of women and girls globally. The alliance’s ultimate goal is to create an environment of zero tolerance towards gender-based violence, which would benefit approximately 35 million women and girls in the region’s five countries.
Kestutis Jankauskas, EU Ambassador to Kazakhstan, said the UN, Central Asian countries, and UN partners are working together to eliminate violence against women and girls.
“We unite forces under the Spotlight Initiative, and we are launching the Central Asian Alliance to end sexual and gender-based violence, which will help us all to move towards more modern and fair societies,” said Jankauskas.
The establishment of the alliance is one of the key achievements of the Spotlight Initiative Regional Program, which has made remarkable progress since its launch in 2020.
During the event, the participants shared insights into their work and discussed their challenges in addressing violence against women and girls.
Michaela Friberg-Storey, the UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan, emphasized that this initiative is an important milestone in the UN collective efforts with the EU toward ending violence against women and girls in Central Asia, as the alliance will be linked with other existing regional and national initiatives and coalitions.
Friberg-Storey encouraged all regional partners to join this significant effort.
“By working together, we can harness our collective strength to challenge harmful norms, enhance protection mechanisms, and ensure access to justice and support services for survivors,” she said.
The launch of the alliance signifies a strong commitment to upholding the principles of human rights, equality, and justice in line with the transformative vision outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The EU, UN, and their regional partners are paving the way toward a future where women and girls in Central Asia can live free from violence and discrimination.
Over 70 representatives from the EU, UN, Central Asian countries, diplomatic corps, civil society organizations, media, and youth associations attended the event.