Gender equality champions march for women's rights in Kyrgyzstan


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Gender activists and civil society organizations organized a march on 7 March to o draw public attention to the situation of women in the Kyrgyz Republic. Photo: UN Women/Meder Sadyraliev

To mark International Women’s Day, UN Women and young gender equality champions joined gender activists and civil society organizations in a march organized by the UNiTE movement to draw public attention to the situation of women in the Kyrgyz Republic and call all everyone to “Step it Up” by taking concrete actions to advance gender equality.

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Posters and banners at the march had following messages: Equal Payment for Work- Step It Up! Photo: Un Women/Meder Sadyraliev

Young gender equality advocates, supported by UN Women, used this opportunity to demonstrate their solidarity with the gender activists and the HeForShe movement.

About 80 representatives of the civil society, NGOs, international organizations, national movements, the parliament, as well as activists from Almaty, Kazakhstan took an active part in the event. The march demonstrated a loud call for gender equality with the sound of drumbeats, a flash-mob and several songs sung by the participants filling the air. Women were urged to actively fight for their political, social and economic rights and equal participation with men in all spheres of public life on International Women’s Day. Ms. Ainuru Altybaeva, a Member of the Kyrgyz Parliament concluded the march by giving a public speech. She said that several draft laws on gender equality and the rights of women were adopted and currently two draft laws on the protection of women’s rights are being discussed in the Parliament supported by the Forum of Women Parliamentarians. These include the draft law on the gender quota in the local council elections and the draft law on domestic violence.

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Ms. Ainuru Altybaeva, a Member of the Kyrgyz Parliament. Photo: UN Women/Meder Sadyraliev

The march took place on 7 March 2016 and launched the “The month of women’s history and activism for equal rights and opportunities” with the support of UN Women, UNDP, the UN Peacebuilding Fund, UNICEF, the British Embassy and the Asian Development Bank. A total of 46 events are scheduled for the whole month of March in all regions of the country. The members of the national movement UNiTE to End Violence against Women and Girls, which includes 38 activist organizations, will inform the public on the rights of women, the ways to overcome gender stereotypes, discrimination and violence against women and girls. Ahead of the forthcoming local elections, advocacy events and discussions will be arranged on the importance of increasing participation of women in politics and their representation in decision making. Daily activism of women’s and feminists organizations and groups will be last throughout the month.