Kazakhstan Reiterates Dedication to Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Rights

ASTANA – The Kazakh leadership is committed to upholding gender equality and protecting women’s rights, Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko said during a two-day seminar on April 4 in Astana, reported the ministry’s press service.

The two-day seminar Protection of Women’s Rights: International and European Approaches. Photo credit: gov.kz

The seminar, titled Protection of Women’s Rights: International and European Approaches, was organized with the support of the Council of Europe and the European Union (EU) for representatives of Kazakhstan’s governmental bodies and non-governmental organizations.

Vassilenko highlighted President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s approval of the new Action Plan on Human Rights and the Rule of Law in December 2023, alongside draft legislative amendments to the women’s rights and child safety legislation, currently under consideration by the Parliament.

The seminar participants emphasized the importance of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, broadly known as the Istanbul Convention, recognizing its relevance in addressing the problem of protecting women’s rights and combating domestic violence worldwide.

“Unfortunately, the level of violence against women is still high, which is a serious obstacle to gender equality,” said Human Rights Commissioner Artur Lastayev, informing about ongoing reforms in Kazakhstan in this field.

“Domestic violence and use of force against women and girls have no place in a just society,” stressed EU Ambassador to Kazakhstan Kęstutis Jankauskas.

In April 2020, the Council of Europe invited Kazakhstan to join the Istanbul Convention, which is valid for five years. Kazakhstan is currently undergoing internal procedures and legislative reforms in this regard. To date, 39 states, along with the EU, have ratified the convention.

Vassilenko praised the progress in relations between Kazakhstan and the Council of Europe, noting the implementation of the Council of Europe’s Neighborhood Co-operation Priorities with Kazakhstan for 2019-2023.

Since its launch, Kazakhstan has joined three legal documents in criminal justice related to laundering proceeds from crime and mutual administrative assistance in tax matters.

He also announced the launch of new priorities for 2024-2027 during the Astana International Forum in June.

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