Statement on International women’s day by UN Resident Coordinator in the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Norimasa Shimomura and Representative of UN Women in Central Asia Mrs. Elaine Conkievich

Mar 7, 2016

Celebrating International Women's Day with the people of Kazakhstan, we note the progress of the status of women through our joint aspiration for ensuring human rights, respect for human dignity and achievement of equality.

Gender equality is at the heart of human rights and values ​​of the United Nations. "Equality of men and women" is a fundamental principle of the UN Charter, adopted by the world leaders in 1945. All governments are responsible for protection and promotion of women’s rights.

Despite this, millions of women still face violence and discrimination and are deprived of the same opportunities men have in education and employment. Two third of illiterate people in the world are women. Many of them are forced to work at low-paid jobs. High mortality rate during childbirth is still the biggest problem for many countries. Women are under-represented in senior management positions.

Women in Kazakhstan still face similar problems, despite the significant progress in achieving gender equality. They are still under-represented in decision-making and in political life, are paid less for equal work with men, and in spite of the laws that are in place to prohibit domestic violence, women still face physical and psychological violence at home. There is a growing number of women infected with HIV.

This year, the whole world begins the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are the priorities in all aspects of the development agenda for the period after 2015. Our goal is full equality - "Planet 50-50" by 2030 with the achievement of significant results in the next five years.

We at the UN believe that a country like Kazakhstan, which has already made significant progress in the sphere of gender equality, has every chance to reach the global goal, and the UN Country Team for its part is ready to provide every possible assistance in this regard.

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but also a necessary foundation for peace, prosperity and sustainable development. Progress on the path to gender equality is largely dependent on the awareness and systematic attention at all levels - from parliament to local administrative bodies, enterprises, families and individual people.

On this International Women’s Day, we call upon the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, civil society and the private sector to support the achievements of women, to recognize existing problems and to give more attention to women's rights and gender equality, and take measures to implement the Agenda 2030 and ensure achievement of the new Sustainable Development Goals.

We encourage the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan to demonstrate stronger commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women as one of the fundamental human rights and as a factor contributing to the common good, and to lead the planet towards gender equality, together with other countries.

Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it Up for gender equality!


Norimasa Shimomura

Elaine Conkievich

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