The Council on Women’s Rights and Counteraction to Gender Violence under the Speaker of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic was established
The UN welcomes the establishment of the Jogorku Kenesh Council on Women’s Rights and Combating Gender-Based Violence
The UN in Kyrgyzstan welcomes the establishment of the Council on Women’s Rights and Prevention of Gender-Based Violence in the Jogorku Kenesh, which will support national legislative and legal efforts in the field of gender equality, empowerment of women, and mechanisms to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence. The corresponding decree was recently signed by the Speaker of the Jogorku Kenesh, Mr. Dastanbek Jumabekov.
According to the decree, the Council will consist of deputies, representatives of government agencies and civil society organizations (CSOs), and will be chaired by the Vice-Speaker. To date, nine CSO representatives have already been appointed to the Council, including from the Association of Crisis Centers, organizations working to protect the rights of children and women with disabilities, and the National Council of CSOs.
The Council has the following tasks:
To ensure communication between the Jogorku Kenesh and government agencies, civil society and international organizations on issues of gender equality and sexual and gender-based violence;
Developing and submitting proposals and recommendations to the Jogorku Kenesh on legislative and oversight functions of the Parliament on issues of gender equality, gender-based violence and discrimination;
Monitoring the implementation of legislative acts on gender equality, gender-based violence and discrimination;
Representing Parliament on issues of gender equality and combating gender-based violence and discrimination at the international level.
The UN recognizes the important work and close cooperation of women MPs, including Aida Kasymalieva, Vice-Speaker of the Jogorku Kenesh, in establishing the Council as a special measure to promote gender equality. Ms. Aida Kasymalieva demonstrated her commitment to gender equality by supporting a public discussion in Parliament, with national partners and civil society.
“During the quarantine in Kyrgyzstan, the number of domestic violence cases increased by 65%. For many women and girls, the threat becomes greatest where they should be safest. In their own homes. It is imperative to urgently address the increase in violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic through the collective efforts of the government, the Jogorku Kenesh, international partners, civil society, the media and all of us. Women’s rights and freedoms are essential for strong and resilient societies, especially in times of crisis,” said Ozonna Ogelo, UN Resident Coordinator in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Technical assistance from UNDP in developing the concept, scope and objectives of the Council was made possible through a joint EU-UN initiative “Ray of Light,” and projects “Strong and Inclusive Parliamentary Democracy,” funded by the Government of Switzerland through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and “Strengthening Accountability in the Implementation of the Rule of Law in the Kyrgyz Republic,” funded by the British Embassy in Bishkek.
“We believe that the Women’s Rights and Gender-Based Violence Council will be an important platform connecting members of Parliament and civil society organizations 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 the Kyrgyz Republic.
Going forward, the Council is expected to contribute to identifying controversial and discriminatory laws, regulations and policies related to gender equality, prevention of child marriage and violence against women and girls. The initiative is expected to strengthen the role of the Jogorku Kenesh in advancing the national women’s rights agenda. It will strengthen Parliament’s oversight functions to monitor, report and inform policy development on violence against women and girls.