International Women’s Day, Financing Gender Equality 8th March – to be continued…
Saturday, 08 March 2008

International Women’s Day is a time for celebration. It is also a chance to reflect on the progress towards equal rights and opportunities for women and men. This year, the UN’s global theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Financing Gender Equality”. The UN reaffirms that investing in women and girls is one of the best investments the government can make.

Kyrgyzstan is already making progress. The political commitments, including Beijing Platform for Action, Convention on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), have been taken to institute the Country Development Strategy and National Action Plan for Gender Equality and to allocate some resources to empower women and to achieve gender equality.

But investments are still not being made to the extent they should be. Thus, the preliminary calculations of the costs of the National Action Plan on Gender Equality demonstrate insufficient allocations in the national and local budgets for covering a number of priority areas, among which are growing gender-based violence, women’s poverty, especially in rural areas, maternal mortality, HIV/AIDs, trafficking in women, etc.

Today we call the government to increase investment in women’s empowerment and gender equality.

We also urge for a better cooperation between all the partners from government, civil society and international community.

The United Nations works hand in hand with women’s groups on joint advocacy to increase the awareness about gender equality and women’s rights based on the CEDAW and MDGs.

Acknowledging the efforts of the women’s movement in the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as its creativity and persistence in advancing the women’s empowerment agenda, the United Nations with great pleasure joined this year the nation-wide information campaign “8 March – to be continued….”

Since the early 1900's, when the International Women's Day started being observed and since 1977 when the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution inviting Member States to proclaim a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace, the 8 March has steadily been associated with the so called “women’s issue”.

Thanks to a great effort of the women’s activists of all the country one of the most burning “women’s issues” – women’s representation in the parliament was partially resolved (we now have the highest representation of women among all Central Asian parliaments). But there is a set of other important issues, domestic violence, poverty, pension of women and many others, which need our immediate attention, joint efforts and financing. And those issues stand behind the phrase “to be continued…”

The UN in Kyrgyzstan will continue working with government and civil society to put in place the practical strategies to promote women’s rights.