top of page


Population size and demographic: 6.26 million. 50.77% of the population is female and 49.23% is male.

Women at Work:

In Turkmenistan in 2021, the female labour force rate was 36.5% compared to 55.6% for men (1). The unemployment rate for women in the labour force is 3.4% in 2021 (2). According to a 2017 report, most working women (68.8%) were employed in sectors like Service and Sales, Skilled Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery, Craft Related Trade, Machine operators and Assemblers. This was followed by a rate of 25.8% of women working as managers, legislators, senior officials, technicians and associate professionals. Finally, only 5.5% of women worked in elementary occupations (3).

Women’s Participation in Parliament:

In Turkmenistan both the Speaker (Chairman of the Assembly), Gulshat Mamedova and the Secretary General of the Assembly, Gulnara Artykova, are women. Women hold 25.86% of the seats in the assembly, meaning that out of 116 members, 30 are women and 86 are men (4). Women gained the right to vote in Turkmenistan in 1924 (5).

Violence against Women:

In Turkmenistan, in 2021 around 12% of women reported having experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner (current or former) at least once in their lives. When it comes to the same experience but in the previous 12 months, 3.4% of women reported having suffered from this kind of domestic abuse (6). According to a national survey published in 2022, 58% of women reported accepting or justifying intimate partner violence. It was also shown that the most prevalent form of abuse against women by their partners is physical violence (11.4%), followed closely by psychological violence (10.6%) and then sexual violence, at 2.7%. This report showed that 41.1% of participants had experienced controlling behaviour from their partner, and 22.1% specifically were restricted from leaving the house and accessing public spaces. When it comes to differences in location, 10.7% of women living in urban areas reported physical violence by their partner and the rate was 12% for women in rural areas. Controlling behaviour was much more prevalent in rural areas, with a rate of 45.7% than in urban areas, where the rate was 35.5%. Among the participants who had ever experienced violence from their partner, 21.6% experienced violence during pregnancy, and 9.6% of women reported their partner had kicked/hit them in the abdomen while pregnant. (7)


When it comes to health for women in Turkmenistan, life expectancy stands at 71 years of age (8). Maternal mortality rate stands at 7 deaths per 100,000 births in 2017. The adolescent fertility rate is 24 per 1000 girls aged 15 to 19 in 2020. About 79.6% of women aged 15 to 49 years had their need for family planning met with modern methods. (9)


When it comes to educational attainment for women in Turkmenistan, the literacy rate is nearly the same for men and women, with a rate of 99.6% for women and 99.8% for men. There is not much information when it comes to enrollment in school but we know that 27% of all children who have not completed primary school are female, and 73% are male. (10)

Current Law and Policy:

On 10 April 2015, the Government of Turkmenistan presented the National Action Plan (NAP) on Gender Equality in Turkmenistan for 2015-2020. The NAP includes a plan of action to combat domestic violence in Turkmenistan. 

The National Action Plan was developed by the Working group of the Inter-ministerial Commission on Treaty Bodies of Turkmenistan under the leadership role of the National Institute of Democracy and Human Rights and with support of the UNFPA international consultants. The plan will address issues such as further engendering the legislation of Turkmenistan, the elimination of discrimination against women, promotion of equal opportunities for women, equal access to quality education, health care and the labour market, as well as the fulfillment of international treaty obligations.  

It’s noteworthy that the plan also outlines the actions for elimination of violence against women, which for the first time will help address the issue of domestic violence in Turkmenistan. In light of this, the National Institute of Democracy and Human Rights with UNFPA technical support will conduct a sample survey on domestic violence. The results of the survey will be analysed and provide evidence-based data to identify the next steps forward. (11)

On April 2017, the National Institute of Democracy and Human Rights (under the President of Turkmenistan) and UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund), met up to establish a monitoring and evaluation framework for the National Action Plan (NAP) on Gender Equality in Turkmenistan for 2015-2020.   The focus of the roundtable, organized by the National Institute of Democracy and Human Rights under the President of Turkmenistan and UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund was to establish a monitoring and evaluation framework for the National Action Plan (NAP) on Gender Equality in Turkmenistan for 2015-2020. (12)

The NAP on Gender Equality was developed with support of UNFPA and approved on 22 January 2015, and substantial work has already been done for realization of the plan. This includes awareness raising trainings among line ministries, legislative analysis and its improvement, studies of international legislative practices in domestic violence, and dissemination of information on gender equality among the public. (13)

Ahead of the 2019 Nairobi ICPD25 Summit, Turkmenistan has committed to adopt state policies, support services and laws preventing domestic violence - Turkmenistan strives to address gender-based violence by conducting the survey on the Health and Status of women in the Family in 2020, the results of which will inform the state policy on domestic violence and policy actions and progress monitoring of the relevant Sustainable Development Goals targets. 

·  Turkmenistan works to adopt a law on promoting family well-being and preventing domestic violence by 2021. 

· In line with the ongoing work to prevent domestic violence, standard operating procedures are being developed for health, law enforcement and social services professionals to coordinate and provide assistance to women victims of violence, taking into account human rights principles. 


On 12 November 2019 at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, the Deputy Minister of Health & Medical Industry, delivered a speech on Turkmenistan’s commitments towards promoting gender equality and gender-based violence prevention. The national delegation of Turkmenistan is led by Mr. Arslangylych Gylyjov, Deputy Minister of Health and Medical Industry, and includes Mr. Gurbanmyrat Ashyrov, Head of Committee on Social Policy of the Mejlis, and Mr. Dovlet Chotbayev, a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

At the Summit, Turkmenistan will also reinforce its political will by highlighting the progress made since 1994 and making financial and policy commitments towards:  achieving universal access to reproductive health and improving maternal health, expanding the comprehensive reproductive health education and information for adolescents, promoting gender equality and taking action to prevent gender-based violence, and drawing on quality data to drive economic growth and achieve sustainable development. (15)

On 10 July 2018, CEDAW (Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women) considered Turkmenistan’s fifth periodic report on its implementation of the

CEDAW. Presently, there is no specific law on domestic violence/violence against women. Only legislation that criminalises violence in any form. Turning to issues of violence against women, the Deputy Minister said that perpetrators of domestic violence, sexual violence and trafficking in persons were prosecuted and sanctioned. There was no specific law on domestic violence or violence against women, but women were protected under this general approach, and the fact that the legislation criminalized violence in any form. Turkmenistan was currently undertaking a survey on violence against women and understanding its causes, on the basis of which changes to the current legislation would be drafted, and a decision would be taken whether to proceed with drafting a specific legislation on domestic violence. (16)


bottom of page