Kyrgyzstan: Women’s movement addresses new challenges

Joint Action Platform of Women’s Organizations of Kyrgyzstan
The National Forum of Women’s Movement Delegates of Kyrgyzstan gathered to discuss the new challenges arising before the women’s movement due to political unrest preceding and following the events of March 24, 2005.
The Forum aimed to consolidate the programs and actions of the women’s organizations for a just, democratic, and safe Kyrgyzstan.
The collapse of the ruling regime in Kyrgyzstan catalyzed the processes of evaluation and analysis of the historical roles and inputs of women. Today, there exists a clear need for the whole society to re-evaluate such roles and for the women’s movement to re-strategize in order to ensure that the new challenges are addressed. The following issues were named as new time challenges:
  1. Growing gap between the image of democratic development and the quality of real transformations in the country and in the civil society.
  2. Sustained patriarchic system, especially in politics and power despite the wide scale and great variety of the efforts in gender development.
  3. Inconsistency between a growing social activity and women’s political awareness, on the one side, and dominant patriarchic structures in family and in the society, on the other side.
  4. Increasing disagreement between real and declared roles of women in politics, economy, and in the society.
  5. Low effectiveness of previously utilized methods and mechanisms to involve and advance women in politics because of a declarative political will of the state.
  6. Unequal political and economic costs paid by men and women during and after the revolutionary events. Specifically, a large number of small to medium-size businesses usually led by women have been shattered.
  7. Actualization of a consolidated response from a wide range of women NGOs to ensure an actual, non-declarative promotion of gender equality.
  8. Lack of sustainability of gender and women NGOs and organizational growth opportunities.
The Forum delegates decided to form the Joint Action Platform of Women’s Organizations for the transformation political period. This Platform will focus on the pending issues and immediate steps vital for a sustainable and progressive gender development in Kyrgyzstan and a proper implementation of relevant legislative provisions and international obligations. Among these steps are:
  1. Improvement of national institutional mechanisms of gender development (change of the status of the National Council, gender expertise of national legislation, participation in “stabilization commissions”, preparation to Parliamentary hearings, other lobbying methods, and formation of Alternative/virtual Parliament);
  2. Organization of a Press-group supporting information strategies of the Joint Action Platform and women’s organizations and responding to a rapidly changing information environment.
  3. Interaction between the women and youth movements, including the integration of women’s issues into the youth agenda and vice versa, identification and joint promotion of common interests.
  4. Advancement of gender aspects in economic development issues, such as gender expertise of the budgetary processes, monitoring of the distribution of and access to local resources, and employment and labor migration strategies.
  5. Addressing the growth of violence against women, especially relevant to the situation of civil unrest and possible military conflict, documenting, organization of psychological assistance, and information campaigns against violence.
  6. The participants have noted that it is important to incorporate gender features into the regional development and cooperation programs.
The National Forum has established a Public Council and endorsed its action to finalize the Forum documents and coordinate interventions of the Joint Action Platform. For more information - in Russian - see the website at: