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Kyrgyzstan

Population size and demographic: 6.7 million. 50.54% of the population is female and 49.46% is male.

Women at Work


In Kyrgyzstan 48.2% of women are employed, compared to 75.7% of men. In 2016. 8.7% of women were unemployed. Women dominate industries such as health and social services, making up 83.6% of the labour force, education, making up 80.6% of workers and hospitality, making up 58.4% of the working force. Men, on the other hand, make up most of the mining industry, about 84.4% and the gas industry, 90.5%. When it comes to wage gap, in 2016 women earned around 75.3% of men’s salaries. (1)

Women’s Participation in Parliament

At the moment, women hold 20.45% of the seats in parliament in Kyrgyzstan. This means that 18 of the 88 members of parliament are women. The youngest member of the parliament is a woman, 26-year-old Beshimbaeva Aigerim Kabylbekovna. There is no electoral quota for women in parliament in Kyrgyzstan. Women’s right to vote as well as stand in election was confirmed in 1991 after Kyrgyzstan’s independence. (2) Roza Otunbayeva was the first female president of Kyrgyzstan, elected in 2010, and the first female head of state in Central Asia.

In 2004, women made up 19% of village councils but by 2016, one out of five councils had no female representative at all. One in every two people believe that life would be better in Kyrgyzstan if more women were decision makers, and one in three citizens think there should be more women in politics, although the same number (1 in 3) believe the amount of female politicians should stay the same. (3)


Violence Against Women

In Kyrgyzstan, 23% of women aged 15-49 state having experienced physical violence at least once and it rises to 28% for married women. About 4% of women report experiencing sexual abuse from a partner and 14% have experienced emotional violence. However, only 39% of victims have sought assistance. (1) When it comes to early marriage, 19.1% of girls are married between 15 and 19 years of age (1) and in 2014 12.7% of women aged 20 – 49 stated they were married before reaching 18 years of age. About 28.4% of girls who married before the age of 18 did not finish secondary school (4).

According to UN Women data, 26.6% of women have experienced lifetime physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, and 17.1% have experienced it in the last 12 months. Child marriage stands at a 12.9% rate for young girls. Kyrgyzstan ranks 82 out of over 150 countries on the Gender Inequality Index Rank. (5)

Health

Maternal mortality rate in Kyrgyzstan stands at 76 deaths per 100,000 births (1), having decreased by 7% between 1990 and 2017 (6). In 2010, only around 30.3% of women aged between 15 and 49 were using contraception (4). The number of adolescent pregnancies was 32.4 in 1000 women aged 15-19 years, a rate that was higher in rural areas (6). The number of new HIV cases among women increased by 10% from 2008 to 2017 (7).

Education

There isn’t a big disparity when it comes to young girls and boys in education. In 2017 89.18% of girls were enrolled in primary school, compared to 90.6% of boys (4). About 97.79% of girls completed primary school and 87.06% of girls attended secondary school. In 2009, 98.98% of women aged 15 and older were literate, while the rate for men was 99.52%. With this being said, women aged 65 and over have a lower literacy rate than men, by 5.41% (4). When it comes to postgraduate degrees, 61% of students are women. (8)

Current Law and Policy:

Kyrgyzstan did not join the COMMIT Initiative. Yet, in 2017, Kyrgyzstan enacted a new Law on the Prevention and Protection against Family Violence. In spite of this new law, domestic violence remains a key issue in Kyrgyzstan.

The Law on the Prevention and Protection against Family Violence 2017, replaces the 2003 version, and introduced additional measures aimed at protecting victims, as well as strengthening police and judicial responses. 

In particular, the new Law requires police to register any domestic abuse complaint (not only those coming from the victims). It also now recognises economic violence as a form of abuse. 


Additionally, the Law On Amending Certain Legislative Acts of the Kyrgyz Republic on the Prevention and Protection accompanied the 2017 Law and changed aspects of the Administrative Code and some other related laws.

However, despite this strong effort to tackle domestic violence, it is an issue that remains prevalent in Kyrgyzstan. Therefore, in January 2020, the Prime Minister, Mukmuhammedkaly Abylgaziev called for stronger laws and harsher punishments to be introduced. This has led to new discussions in parliament related to amending the Law. 


Work now begins on improving national legislation further to improve mechanisms that ensure protection for citizens from domestic violence. 


Frontline Services:

· Forum of Women’s NGOs of Kyrgyzstan - http://forumofwomenngos.kg/ - forumofwomenngos@gmail.com

· Novi Ritm Public Union - http://noviritm.org/ - info@noviritm.org

· NGO Association 'Human Rights Advocacy Center' - https://advocacy.kg/ - advocacy.kg@gmail.com

· Sotsium Public Foundation - http://sotsium.kg/ - oosotsium@gmail.com

· Women’s Progressive Social Union (WPSU) “Mutakalim” - http://mutakallim.kg/%d0%b3%d0%bb%d0%b0%d0%b2%d0%bd%d0%b0%d1%8f-%d1%81%d1%82%d1%80%d0%b0%d0%bd%d0%b8%d1%86%d0%b0/ - jamal789@mail.ru

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