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Kazakhstan

Population size and demographic: 19 million. 51.45% of the population is female and 48.55% is male.

Women at Work

Women’s labour force participation is 66.1%. Women work mostly in the service sector, with 71.4% of women employed. Only 3.3% of women work in the construction industry, representing 20.2% of all construction workers. When it comes to executive positions, women head 63.8% of companies in the education sector, 46.3% of health and social services companies, 42.7% of housing and food services companies and 41.7% of all companies on the finance and insurance sector. Women have a lower representation when it comes to executive positions in sectors like agriculture, energy and mining. (1)

The wage gap between men and women is significant, with women only earning 65.9% of what men earned in 2015. This differs depending on profession, with women earning more than men in administrative and support services, and nearing the same wage as men in education and health, receiving 90% of men’s earnings (1). In 2015 the unemployment rate for women was 5.7% (1).


Women’s Participation in Parliament

In Kazakhstan women were given the right to vote and stand for election in 1924, and later in 1993 this right was recognized and confirmed with the independence of Kazakhstan. Women hold 27.36% of seats in parliament, which means that out of 106 seats, 29 are held by women. There is an electoral quota for women, which states that 30% of the total members in a political party should be women and people under 29. There were a total number of 312 candidates in the last elections, 90 of which were women. (2) The proportion of elected seats held by women in deliberative bodies of local government was 22.3% in 2020. (3)

Violence against Women

In 2017, 16.5% of women aged 18-75 years had experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence at least once in their lives and 4.7% had experienced it in the last 12 months. When it comes to lifetime non-partner sexual violence, 1.5% of women said to have experienced it. In 2021, about 7% of women aged 20 to 24 were married or in union before the age of 18. Kazakhstan ranks 44 out of 191 countries on the Gender Inequality Index Rank. (4)

According to 2015 statistics, 51% of women stated they never told anyone about the domestic violence they suffered. Law in Kazakhstan does not define domestic violence as a criminal offense but as an administrative matter (1). Human trafficking is also a concerning problem in Kazakhstan, as in 2013 there were 346 different trafficking and sexual exploitation related cases brought to court, more than 40 of those involving minors (1).


Health

Life expectancy for women in Kazakhstan is 74.3 years. The adult mortality rate for women is 118 per 1000 women aged 15 to 60 years. In 2015, maternal mortality rate was 12 per 100,000, a big decreased from 65 in 2000 (1). Teen pregnancy is higher in rural areas (4.8% of girls aged 15 to 19) than in urban areas (3.2%). About 0.1% of girls in rural areas aged 15-18 are estimated to have had an abortion. (1)

Education

Primary and secondary education enrollment rates are high for both girls (99.3%) and boys (99.1%). The proportion of boys who finish primary school (109.3%) is significantly higher than that of girls (94.3%). When it comes to tertiary education, in 2015 53.8% of women aged 18-22 were enrolled in higher education, compared to 43.2% of men. About 55.9% of higher education students are women and 47.7% of students in technical and vocational education. (1)

For master’s-level education, 61.2% of students were women, and 60.9% of doctoral students were women. Women represent 34% of university professors and 57% of university assistant professors. (1)


Current Law and Policy:

Kazakhstan was the first Central Asian country to establish a national entity to promote gender equality (the National Commission on Women, Family and Demographic Policy). Adopted in 2009, the Law on State Guarantees of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Men and Women governs gender policy. Kazakhstan’s Strategy of Gender Equality for 2006-2016 set practical targets to measure progress in attaining gender equality in policy, the economy, education, family affairs, access to healthcare and the prevention of violence against women and children. It approved in 2016 the Concept of Family and Gender Policy up to 2030, which seeks to ensure equal rights for all and prevent gender-based discrimination and gender imbalances. Kazakhstan has ratified several major international treaties, including the UN Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Convention on the Political Rights of Women, the Convention on the Nationality of Married Women, six International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs).Law on State Guarantees of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Men and Women.

To the individual, partner-based violence cost USD 4,682,587 in out of pocket health care expenditures, and USD 5,650,501 in lost earnings.(5)


Frontline Services:


· Almaty International Women’s club - http://aiwclub.net/ - communication.aiwc@gmail.com ; president.aiwc@gmail.com ; membership.aiwc@gmail.com

· Public Association “Feminist League” - http://www.women.kz/ - kazfemline@gmail.com

· ZHAKIYA FOUNDATION - http://zhakiya.kz/ - alzhanova@zhakiya.kz ; mail@zhakiya.kz


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