Kazakhstan Concludes Chairmanship in Dialogue of Women of Central Asia

ASTANA – Daniya Yespayeva, the vice speaker of the Mazhilis, the lower chamber of the Kazakh Parliament, addressed the results of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the Dialogue of Women of Central Asia in 2023 during the Dec. 4 conference on combating gender-based violence in the region, according to the chamber’s press release. 

Daniya Yespayeva, the vice speaker of the Mazhilis. Photo credit: parlam.kz.

She noted an extensive work of the dialogue, which strengthened the regional platform institutionally, commending activities of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as the UN Women, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the European Union (EU). 

The conference was held along with the 16-day global campaign aiming to combat and eradicate violence against women and girls. The campaign’s main focus encompasses physical, sexual, and psychological violence, sexual harassment, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, and child marriages.

Mazhilis Speaker Yerlan Koshanov underscored the need to conduct proper ideological work, saying that “a distorted idea of complete male dominance in the family should be left in the past.”

“It is necessary to introduce the right values to the younger generation from school, to develop a legal culture among the population, to show intolerance to any manifestations of domestic vandalism,” he added.

Kazakhstan, Koshanov underlined, has tightened the responsibility for domestic violence this year at the initiative of the head of state. 

“Today, the legislators have gone even further – the deputies are developing a new package of legislative amendments in this area. At the outset, we plan to establish criminal liability for domestic violence,” he added. 

The participants also recalled the recent events related to Central Asian female empowerment.

The conference on the role of women in the development of innovations and technologies, which took place this June in Astana, led to the establishment of the TechnoWomen Central Asia community. As a result, Kazakhstan joined the Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation, one of the Six Action Coalitions, as part of the Generation Equality Forum.

In October, Almaty held the Women, Peace, and Security international forum to step up cooperation among civil society, gender activists, and international experts and discuss implementing the principles of UN Security Council resolutions.

Two weeks ago, Kazakhstan opened the Untold installation at the Nurly Zhol railway station in Astana, which calls for speaking out in the face of violence towards women. Until Dec. 10, have a chance to share personal experiences of violence anonymously, which will be used in the UN campaigns. 

During its chairmanship this year, Kazakhstan has raised discussions on innovations and technologies, global peace and security, climate change, and the role of women and youth in the fight against terrorism and extremism. 

The dialogue platform was launched in December 2020 and was chaired by Uzbekistan in 2021 and Turkmenistan in 2022. The chairmanship has now passed to the Kyrgyz Republic.

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