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The UN in Kyrgyzstan warmly welcomes the establishment of the Gender Council under Jogorku Kenesh that will support national legislative and policy efforts in the field of gender equality, women’s empowerment, prevention and response mechanisms to sexual and gender-based violence.

The following decree on the establishment of the Council on Women's Rights and Prevention of Gender-Based Violence under the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic has been signed by the Speaker of the Jogorku Kenesh Mr. Dastanbek Djumabekov recently.

According to the signed regulation, the Council will comprise MPs, representatives from state institutions, and CSOs and be chaired by the Vice-Speaker. To date, 9 representatives from CSOs have been already appointed, including from the Association of Crisis Centres, NGOs working on children's rights and women with disabilities, as well as from the national CSOs Council.

The Council has been tasked with the following:

  • Ensuring communication between the Jogorku Kenesh and state bodies, civil society, and international organizations on gender equality and sexual and gender-based violence;
  • Developing and submitting proposals and recommendations to the Jogorku Kenesh concerning legislative and oversight functions of the Parliament on gender equality, gender-based violence and discrimination;
  • Monitoring the implementation of legislative acts in the area of gender equality, gender-based violence and discrimination;
  • Representing the Parliament on gender equality and combatting gender-based violence and discrimination in the area of international relations.

The UN acknowledges the important work and close cooperation of women MPs, including Aida Kasymalieva, the Vice-Speaker of the Jogorku Kenesh to establish the Council as a special measure for promotion of gender equality. Ms. Aida Kasymalieva has demonstrated her commitment to gender equality by supporting public discussion within the Parliament, national partners, and civil society. 

“During the recent quarantine in Kyrgyzstan, the number of cases of domestic violence increased by 65%. For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest. In their own homes. It is critical to urgently address the increase of violence against women during COVID-19 pandemic through the collective efforts of the Government, Jogorku Kenesh, international partners, civil society, media, and everyone of us. Women’s rights and freedoms are essential to strong, resilient societies, especially during this time of crisis,” Ozonnia Ojielo, UN Resident Coordinator in the Kyrgyz Republic, stated.

The technical assistance of the UN, in particular UNDP in designing the concept, scope, and objectives of the Council was made possible within the joint EU-UN “Spotlight Initiative”, the projects “Strong and Inclusive Parliamentary Democracy” financed by the Government of Switzerland through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and “Deepening Accountability in Rule of Law Implementation in the Kyrgyz Republic” funded by the British Embassy in Bishkek.

“We believe that the Gender Council will become a critical platform connecting MPs and CSOs to assess the impact of legislation and policies, inform the legislative process and engage vulnerable groups to more effectively prevent and respond to violence against women and girls”, said Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Resident Representative.

In perspective, the Council is expected to contribute to identifying inconsistent and discriminatory laws, bylaws, and policies related to gender equality, prevention of child marriage, and violence against women and girls. The initiative is also expected to strengthen the role of the Jogorku Kenesh to promote the national agenda on women’s rights. This will strengthen oversight functions of the Parliament to monitor, report, and inform on policymaking in relation to violence against women and girls.

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