UN Geneva: Experts of the CEDAW Congratulate Kyrgyzstan on Progress Achieved on Women’s Advancement and Ask about its List of Jobs Prohibited to Women, and about the Participation of Women in Politics

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women today concluded its consideration of the fifth periodic report of Kyrgyzstan, with Committee Experts asking about the country’s list of jobs which women were prohibited from holding, and about the participation of women in politics and public life.

A Committee Expert congratulated Kyrgyzstan on progress achieved in the area of women’s advancement. Another Expert asked when Kyrgyzstan would amend its Labour Code that restricted women’s access to certain categories of work and review the list of industries, jobs, professions and positions with harmful or dangerous working conditions, in which it was prohibited to employ women? One Expert noted that many of the professions on the list prohibited to women were often the higher-paid jobs and asked how would Kyrgyzstan set right that obvious discrimination in the labour legislation? Another Expert asked whether Kyrgyzstan was undertaking awareness-raising measures on the importance of women’s political participation, targeting all relevant State officials and employers and political parties? An Expert asked about the number of women in politics and in political life, including whether there was any intention to introduce a quota system and to reserve seats for women in order to achieve a 30 per cent ratio of women in the parliament and local councils.

The delegation of Kyrgyzstan, turning to the list of professions where the working conditions were harmful, and therefore women were banned, explained that the list would be reviewed under the new national strategy for gender equality. In light of the opinions of international experts, a broad analysis of labour legislation had been conducted and a report had been compiled with recommendations to ensure gender equality in the workplace across the country. The proposal was to develop a list of professions where pregnant and nursing women should not be employed, because of harmful working conditions, and withdraw the existing list of professions where women should not be employed. Equality would be a key issue to consider, as well as the working conditions in which women were to work. On women’s political participation, the delegation explained that Kyrgyzstan took special measures which were not discriminatory, with legislation stipulating quotas in political elections for women. Parliament had 120 members altogether, and 16 per cent were women. Three out of eight parliamentary committees were headed by women.

Alybaeva Janyl Ishenbekovna, Deputy Minister of Labour, Social Security and Migration of the Kyrgyz Republic and head of the delegation, presenting the report, said that Kyrgyzstan’s national development strategy, which would run through 2040, called for the country to ensure the full and equal participation of women in governance at all decision-making levels in political, economic and public life.

Further objectives were to stop forced and early marriages and domestic violence, and to create conditions for a harmonious combination of work and family responsibilities for women and men. Kyrgyzstan had held elections to local self-governing bodies, which had seen an increase in women deputies at the local level. In upcoming parliamentary elections, party lists of political parties taking part in the elections must include a quota of 30 per cent of mandates for women.

Esenkanov Kachyke Esenkanovich, Deputy Chair of the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic, said women were highly respected in Kyrgyz society, yet cases of discrimination did exist, and an increase in domestic violence had been seen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The delegation of Kyrgyzstan was made up of representatives of the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic; the Ministry of Justice; the Ministry of Health and Social Development; the Ministry of Internal Affairs; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ombudsman; and the Permanent Mission of Kyrgyzstan to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women’s eightieth session is being held from 18 October to 12 November. All the documents relating to the Committee’s work, including reports submitted by States parties, can be found on the session’s webpage. The meeting summary releases prepared on the public meetings of the Committee can be found here. The webcast of the Committee’s public meetings can be accessed at http://webtv.un.org/.

The Committee will next meet at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 3 November to conclude its consideration of the ninth periodic report of the Russian Federation (CEDAW/C/RUS/9).

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