We want 50/50 by 2030 or how UN Peacebuilding Fund helps women to reach the goal

Jan 23, 2017

Photo Credit: Umutai Dauletova

Innovative conference was held in Bishkek where participants and partners of project used an interactive approach to visualize results of work, lessons learned and recommendations to the public bodies in the Kyrgyz Republic.

These innovative solutions, a kind of exhibition of results of the project, which helped women to participate in elections (held in the republic during 2015-2016) as voters and candidates for Zhogorku Kenesh and local councils.

“Yes, we want 50/50 by 2030!” – is the slogan of the banner, representing the lynch pin of the UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic project “Women - peace voters and candidates”, funded by United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.

Why does the project support women?

Despite significant progress in gender equality in the national electoral law (for example, the gender quota -30%, the quota for representation of national minorities - 15% and young people - 15%, in UNDP country report in 2013 in regards of lessons learned and strategies of gender equality to facilitate elections in the country, it is discussed that “the proportion of women among the candidates is quite negligible and therefore is small among the winners in the elections”. This is also reflected in the project document.

The innovative part of th event continued with dramatic actors who urged participants to make the program of a political party. Participants were asked to develop a promise to the citizens, while not forgetting the main activity of each political party including gender questions. In addition, participants together developed a single national media campaign.

Participants included board games, comics pictures, cardboard dolls for children, that had previously proved effectiveness as media products in attracting citizens' attention. Participants who campaigned in the villages, noted women and men had been pleasantly surprised by the fact that so much attention was paid to promoting women's participation in elections. “Most of the time, before elections, political parties come to you and ask to vote for them, promising various changes. I am particularly pleased to note this time they we asked to vote not for the party but motivated women to vote,” - said Almagul Asanova, resident of Batken oblast.

Elmira Shishkaraeva, Country Coordinator of gender programs of UNDP, met with local communities and discussed effective ways to raise public awareness.

"Today, traditional information methods, we used earlier, no longer work, especially with women. We need to take up other areas - need to meet women in kindergartens, “Sherine” gatherings that are often carried out in the villages, where women share recipes, where they do not hesitate to express their ideas and thoughts,” - said Elmira Shishkaraeva. She added that besides this, UNDP and partners have attracted a television channel for production of 10 series serial to draw attention to women's participation in decision-making processes. The comedy series “10 channel” broadcasted in prime time on national television.

One of the main parts of the latest interactive conference was the presentation of the first study “Gender rating of political parties”, which was given to members of Zhogorku Kenesh to further enhance the competence and the inclusion of gender issues in party programs. In cooperation with UNDP headquarters, Embassy of Romania supported several workshops of the parties.

"Leadership School" was organized to promote the participation of women in elections for candidates for deputies. Women for a 5-day workshops were trained on issues such as gender equality, empowerment of women, oratory skills in drawing up their own political agenda. The current members of Zhogorku Kenesh, such as, Aynur Altybaeva, Zhanar Akayev, and others were involved as mentors for women candidates. Also, the lawyers were invited to help women with election disputes. As a result, more than 250 women enrolled in the local parliament, and about 100 women were able to stand for election.

At the end of the conference there were several workshops for participants in different sections, namely, how to speak in public, how to incorporate gender issues in the party program as branded handouts simple and convenient way to the village.

Umutai Dauletova, UNDP Gender Mainstreaming Specialist