Press Release: Changing Behavior to End Violence against Women and Girls in Kyrgyzstan

Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A new three-year project funded by the European Union to end violence against women and girls in Kyrgyzstan started out today, 10 April 2018, at City Hotel, Bishkek.

The Inception Workshop of the new project “Across Generations and Gender Borders – Communities Combatting Gender-Based Violence in Kyrgyzstan” of today brings together EU and UN representatives, Kyrgyz government officials, parliament members and civil society representatives to discuss the way forward for eliminating violence against women and girls.

“Violence against women and girls is one of the greatest injustices of our time, which crosses all borders, generations, nationalities and communities. It deeply touches our hearts and our minds. And it is a serious barrier to any society's full development potential. To make a real change, the EU is pleased to partner with UN Women to join efforts towards ending violence against women and girls in Kyrgyzstan,” said Charlotte Adriaen, Head of Cooperation Section of the European Union Delegation to the Kyrgyz Republic.

UN Women Acting Representative in Kyrgyzstan Jyldyz Kuvatova noted: “This project will directly support the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Sustainable Agenda 2030, as they all call for violence against women and girls to be urgently addressed in order to achieve gender equality. As UN Women, we will do our best to achieve concrete results in collaboration with all other actors and stakeholders.”

Funded by the EU, with a budget of over EUR 800,000, the project will be implemented by UN Women in a partnership with NGOs HelpAge International and Agents of Change. The project will run for three years, starting from 2018, and focus on four provinces in Kyrgyzstan: Issyk-Kul, Talas, Batken and Osh.

For more detailed information, please contact Meriza Emilbekova, UN Women Communication Specialist in the Kyrgyz Republic: tel.: 0770 07 85 25; e-mail:

Background information:

Project title: Across Generations and Gender Borders – Communities Combatting Gender-Based Violence in Kyrgyzstan

Project timeframe: 30 months (1 January 2018 – 30 June 2020)

Project Donor: European Union

Implementing agency: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)

Implementing partners: HelpAge International, Agents of Change

The project specifically focuses on non-consensual marriage practices by tackling the root causes of violence against women and girls (VAWG). Such root causes include deeply rooted patriarchal attitudes, pervasive gender stereotypes and harmful social norms. To bring about behavior change across generations and gender borders, the project will help target communities in 16 pilot municipalities act together to eliminate non-consensual marriage practices and associated violence against women and girls of all ages.

The project will reach up to 16,000 individuals among youth, older people, duty bearers, courts of Aksakals, local government and religious leaders, who will directly benefit from the provision of trainings, increasing their knowledge to achieve mutual respect and gender justice at family and community levels, as well as through enhancing their legal expertise to process cases involving gender-based violence. In addition, around 200,000 women and girls, men and boys will be encouraged to reconsider their attitudes towards non-consensual marriage practices through wide community-based outreach activities.