26 April 2018
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Sunday, 15 November 2009 12:46

Current Gender Issues in the Kyrgyz Parliament (Jogorku Kenesh)
in November 2008 - May 2009



•"Washing" women out of the state bodies
•State strategy on Gender equality is on paper only
•Strengthening of traditional stereotype thinking about the woman as a mother and a housewife
•No monitoring of the latent barriers for women's participation in politics in Kyrgyzstan
•A negative image of women who conduct active lives or participate in pickets and strikes

One of the consequences of the challenges was a zero representation of women in the Kyrgyz Parliament following the results of elections in 2005.


Kyrgyzstani women's movement answer

•Revision of women's movement's strategy at the National Forum of Women Organizations in April, 2005. A United Platform of Actions was developed
•Strategy on Institutional Change Lobbying, including lobbying in the legislature was developed
•Use of symbolical events for attracting attention of political leaders and the public to a problem of fewer representation of women in politics

•A Women NGO Forum was held on April 18, 2005
•A Meeting of Women Organizations representatives with the President of the Kyrgyz Republic on May 24, 2007
•A key question raised was women participation in political life and threats caused by absence of women in the Kyrgyz Parliament



•A special position of the Kyrgyz President's Special Representative on Gender Development in the Kyrgyz Parliament was established, and a nominee from the women organizations was appointed for this position (see the picture below)
•Advancing via the Kyrgyz President's Special Representative in the Parliament a procedure of Gender relating expertise of bills in the Kyrgyz Parliament (Jogorku Kenesh)
•In 2008 a Gender relating expertise was approved by the Kyrgyz Parliament as a compulsory procedure for all the laws

Anara Niyazova, Special Representative of the Kyrgyz President

on Gender Development in the Kyrgyz Parliament (Jogorku Kenesh)



•Lobbying of Gender relating amendments to the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic
•Preparing suggestions from women organizations and their promotion in the Constitution Meeting and the Kyrgyz Parliament, and receiving a support from the President of the Kyrgyz Republic
•Actions, events and public appeals with the requirement to return the definition of Kyrgyzstan as ‘a secular state' in the text of the Constitution of Kyrgyzstan



•In compliance with the requirement of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women a separate article was included into the Kyrgyz Constitution with the text (Article 13, Item 4): «The men and the women have equal freedoms and equal rights, and also equal opportunities for these rights implementation in the Kyrgyz Republic»
•The definition of Kyrgyzstan as ‘a secular state' was incorporated again into the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic adopted at a Referendum on October 21, 2007.


PR & information campaigns:

•'Alternative 8th March' event
•'PRO a Secular Kyrgyzstan' actions
•Special measures taken in the Kyrgyz Electoral Laws


‘Alternative 8th March' event















• Majority of mass media has written upon a message of these actions: «8th March is a day of solidarity for political, economic and social equality»
• Attracting attention of Kyrgyz Parliament members
• A drive was given for cooperation among women organizations, political parties, human rights legal experts, international organizations, politicians and journalists













Action Against Polygamy
















• A criminal liability for a polygamy was kept in the Kyrgyz laws
• Making it a popular topic for discussions and uniting efforts regarding returning the definition of Kyrgyzstan as ‘a secular states' into the Kyrgyz Constitution
• Via a "hot" topic mass media have widely and thoroughly discussed issues of gender equality during a month


Special measures in the Kyrgyz Elections Code in 2007:


• Development of suggestions and discussion them in target groups
• Promoting of ‘the own people' into the team of the working group
• Support to the Special measures at public hearings held in May in the regions in Kyrgyzstan
• Meetings held with the Kyrgyz Parliament Committees and Fractions
• ‘Flying Press Conference' held near the Kyrgyz Parliament (Jogorku Kenesh) in May
• The Action « We Need Mums that are Different, and the Parliament Needs Them»
• Making pressures from the electorate upon their Parliament members
• The Kyrgyz Parliament hearings were held about the Elections Code in June
• An advisory meeting was held with international agencies in June in Kyrgyzstan
• The Action ‘Zebra' in July - August
• A meeting with the President of the Kyrgyz Republic in September

• A number of public hearings, round tables and collection of signatories to support the petition on the Special measures in the Elections Code were held in February-April, 2007













"Flying" press conference held near the Kyrgyz Parliament on May 30, 2007














The June 1, 2007 Action « We Need Mums that are Different, and the Parliament Needs Them»


The Kyrgyz Parliament hearings held about the Elections Code on June 6, 2007

















The Action ‘Zebra' held in June-August, 2007


A Meeting of representatives of the NGO Forum Organizing Committee with the President of the Kyrgyz Republic on September 5, 2007




A Forum was held with participation of women candidates on November 29, 2007


jenschini - kandidatki 2007

2 - jenshini - kandidatki 2007 




•A principle of double gender quotes was included into the Elections Code of the Kyrgyz Republic (Article 72)
•The idea of Participation of women in politics started to be shared and promoted by not only women groups, but also it was included into the agenda/ plans of NGOs, human rights legal experts and politicians
•24 women were elected into the Kyrgyz Parliament (which account for 27 %of all the members)
•4 women were appointed as ministers in the Kyrgyz Government: Minister of Finance, Minister of Migration and Employment, Minister of Labor and Social Protection, and Minister of Education
•According to The InterParliamentary Union (IPU) Kyrgyzstan was recognized as a country where progress in women promotion in political life was carried out in a most dynamic way in 2007.

Women's representation in Parliaments of Central Asia countries




Previous Parliament

At Present



5 %


12 %


8 %


12 %


Legislative Assembly

8,3 %

People's Representative Assembly

2,2 %

One-Chamber Parliament



Majilisi Mili

15 %



17 %

Majilisi Mili

12 %



17 %


One-Chamber Oliy Majlis

 - 8 %

Legislative Chamber

18 %


15 %
















New challenges for women in politics


A wider representation of women in the Kyrgyz Parliament (Jogorku Kenesh) as a result of application of Gender quotas:
•Expands opportunities for promoting the Gender issues via the Kyrgyz Parliament, but
•Demands evidence for the Kyrgyz society regarding a justification of the earlier accepted measures regarding gender quotes,
•There is a risk of cancellation of the Special measures in the Elections Code as soon as the first reform of the Kyrgyzstan's political system will take place; and there is a risk of discrediting of the idea of the Gender quotes in Kyrgyzstan


One of the responses to the challenges above


The women who are currently Kyrgyz Parliament members united with Kyrgyz women organizations and gender experts and founded the ALLIANCE OF WOMEN LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES.


The Alliance goal is:


• Strengthening the women's influence in the decision making field through lobbying of laws/amendments initiatives, strengthening interactions with Kyrgyz state bodies, local self-governments and a civil society for an effective implementation a National Gender Policy


What has been done?


• The Kyrgyz Parliament hearing was held on preparation for Kyrgyzstan's reporting on Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on October 7
• Preparation of the III Periodic Report of the Kyrgyz Republic on CEDAW on October 23. The Kyrgyz Government delegation was headed by Orzubek Nazarov, Kyrgyz Parliament member
• Upon the results -- a Kyrgyz Parliament hearing was held to discuss the issue of the legal age since which people can get married in Kyrgyzstan, and issues of proposed amendments to the Family Code of the Kyrgyz Republic were also discussed
• Preparing amendments to the Laws about Civil service, About the Government, and about the National Bank of Kyrgyzstan and lobbying those amendments resulting in their adoption


What has been done?


• NGOs conducted Gender analysis of bills of the Kyrgyz Republic:
• «About the State Civil Service»
• «About a freedom of religion and religious organizations in the Kyrgyz Rerpublic»
• Participation in the information campaign «16 days without violence» in Kyrgyzstan
• Functional analysis for improving institutional mechanisms was conducted (with support of UNDP)
• Gender audit of the Kyrgyz Parliament was conducted (with support of UNDP/ ILO)
• The Kyrgyz Parliament Committees have collected their suggestions regarding Kyrgyz laws that need to pass through a Gender relating expertise first
• The information campaign «8th March - to be continued!» was conducted

• ‘Business Siesta' event was held on February 10, 2009
• AWLI souvenirs
• A press conference was held
• A Sale of products was organized in the Vefa center
• The information campaign PR in mass media
• Another information campaign PR in mass media


Results from the actions/events:

• Amount collected during the fundraising activities reached 115 000 Kyrgyz soms in cash
• Bed mats, a medical equipment, medicines and sanitary articles were bought for charity donations
• All the purchased above stated items were donated to the National Center of Protection of Motherhood and Childhood

A charitable event «The tree of desires» was held to help homeless children to receive gifts they desire




Results from the action/event:

• Amount collected during the fundraising activity reached 53 000 Kyrgyz soms and 600 US dollars in cash, also as in-kind donations were collected: toys, clothes, books, office supplies
• Gifts were bought (thanks to the monetary donations) to those children whose desires have not been realized as they were not matched with brought in-kind donations
• We prepared a celebration of a holiday and giving gifts for children in the Center of Rehabilitation of Homeless Children
• After the mentioned above financed activities there was an amount of 21 000 Kyrgyz soms left. AWLI planned to spend the money to continue Action on June 1 which is Children Protection Day in Kyrgyzstan - the AWLI planned to held an event ‘The tree of desires' for the second time on this day for the second Center of Homeless Children in Kyrgyzstan

One of the responses to the challenges


• Women who are the Kyrgyz Parliament members united with women organizations and gender experts and formed THE ALLIANCE OF WOMEN LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES


The Alliance goal is:


• "Strengthening of women's political voice and their influence through lobbying bills' initiatives aimed at equal gender development and monitoring of implementation of the Kyrgyz gender policy»


The Alliance tasks are:


• to design and define a strategy for the Alliance activities and to set priorities for bills initiatives on ensuring equal rights and opportunities for both men and women in Kyrgyzstan;
• to promote changing the public opinion in favor of gender equality policy;
• to participate in conducting a gender relating expertise of laws in the Kyrgyz Republic;
• to participate in evaluation of effective implementation of laws and regulations in this field and to participate in definition of problems that need law amendments or new laws for their solutions;
• developing sectoral policies and strategies on gender equality and their lobbying


Principles of the AWLI member interactions:pic19wm

• support of the ideas of gender equality
• voluntariness of participation
• coordinated positions/attitudes and coordinated actions
• democracy
• openness
• mutual respect
• responsibility
• independence from Kyrgyz political parties and Kyrgyz state authorities in setting goals, decision making and actions

Proposed AWLI organization structure


• General Meeting
• Coordination Board of the Alliance with 2 Co-chairing Coordinators and a Secretary
• Working Groups divided by Issues Topics of the Main activities they work with


Suggestions on priorities in the AWLI main activities


• Improving institutional mechanism of implementation of a gender policy and relevant laws regulating this mechanism related activities:
- Lobbying amendments to the Law «About State Guarantees of a Gender Equality in the Kyrgyz Republic». The prepared amendments (bill) have passed through an expertise and were discussed with NGOs in all regions of Kyrgyzstan;
- Carrying out of a Functional analysis of institutional mechanism for finding points for its improvement at both nationwide and local levels in Kyrgyzstan (National Board, its Working Body in the President's Administration, in the Kyrgyz Government, in the central ministries and state agencies, and in local self-governments in Kyrgyzstan)


Suggestions on priorities in the AWLI main activities


• Improving mechanisms of control and monitoring of compliance with international and national obligations of the Kyrgyz Government on gender equality (organizing Joint Parliamentary hearings for this purpose in Kyrgyzstan);
• Improving laws and regulations and rule of law mechanisms and procedures on the issues of Protection against Home Violence;
• Conducting a gender analysis of the Social Security protection laws and regulations with regard to the retiree social allowances called ‘pensions';
• Assistance in introduction of Gender indicators incorporated in the Strategy of Country Development (SCD) and National Plan of Actions (NPA) in Kyrgyzstan into sector/ industry development programs of the Kyrgyz ministries and state agencies;
• Carrying out information campaigns and advocacy campaigns on Kyrgyz State Guarantees of Equal Opportunities for Various Social Groups;
• Assistance in improving professional qualifications of the AWLI members in conducting of gender relating expertise of laws



Last Updated on Friday, 04 December 2009 10:25
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