UN Women, Kazakhstan call for stronger coop within Central Asia to promote gender equality
The countries of Central Asia have convened a regional expert meeting on 13 November in Almaty to adopt a joint Action Plan to accelerate progress on gender equality targets across all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region. Organized by UN Women and the Kazakh Foreign Ministry the meeting aimed to knit together governments, the UN, the civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders to mobilize all available resources for the achievement of gender equality commitments made under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Strategy2050.kz informs with reference to UN Women Kazakhstan’s press service.
Making progress in terms of the gender-related indicators across the SDGs is very important for Central Asia countries, where economic and social statuses of women are regressing.
“Gender equality is a key priority across the 2030 Agenda. It is a right, and fulfilling this right is the best chance we have in meeting some of the most pressing challenges of our time. Only by ensuring the rights of women and girls across all the goals will we get to justice and inclusion, an economy that works for all, and sustaining our shared environment now and for future generations,” Blerta Cela, UN Women Deputy Regional Director for the countries of Europe and Central Asia, said in her welcoming remarks.
From a gender perspective, nationalizing and localizing the SDGs mean adopting gender-related targets and corresponding indicators across national development plans, programmes and strategies to bring universal, comprehensive and transformative changes in all women and men’s lives and leaving no one behind.
Localization of gender-related targets and indicators across all SDGs and their effective implementation ensure equal rights and opportunities for women and men across all spheres of life, including women’s equal access to resources, their enhanced participation in decision-making processes at all levels, a life free from violence for women and girls, women’s equal participation in the workforce with equal pay standards, and improved access of socially vulnerable groups of women to services.
Central Asian countries are at different stages in terms of SDGs’ nationalisation and localization, and in terms of integrating gender targets into the national strategies and plans. Kyrgyzstan integrated gender targets into the Kyrgyz Government Program “Unity, trust, creation". The Government of Tajikistan is about to integrate gender targets into the National Strategy of Development before 2030. Gender issues are also included in four priority measures on acceleration of SDGs in Tajikistan. Uzbekistan’s Strategy of Social Welfare encompasses gender indicators for the achievement of gender equality in priority sectors.
The process of the SDGs nationalisation in Kazakhstan is still in progress. In August 2018, the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan issued the resolution announcing the establishment of a nationally led and owned SDGs coordination architecture. In July 2019, Kazakhstan presented its first Voluntary National Review at the High-Level Political Forum in New York, having confirmed that 80 per cent of the SDGs are aligned with the country’s strategic documents, including Kazakhstan Strategy2050, 100 Concrete Steps, and Five Institutional Reforms.
To support national efforts in implementation of the gender targets and indicators in the 2030 Agenda, UN Women and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan implemented a three-year project called “Assistance in Nationalization of Gender-Related Sustainable Development Goals in Countries of Central Asia,” which concluded with today’s expert meeting. It is the first pilot project that is fully funded by the government in the region. The project contributed to increasing the capacity of national partners to form a holistic approach for the nationalisation and localisation of the SDGs with a focus on promotion gender equality and women’s rights, strengthen the regional dialogue and cooperation, and empower the civil society in Central Asian countries to monitor the implementation of the SDGs in advancing gender equality.
The Kazakh Government views the SDGs as guidance for action for next 11 years to come as well as an important framework for expanding regional cooperation and international partnerships. The joint Action Plan, proposed at the expert meeting, is expected to give a new impetus to interregional synergies to tackle gender inequalities in the countries of Central Asia.
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