Voices from Eurasia

Gender equality

For women in government, glass ceilings and invisible obstacles

06 Nov 2017 by Barbora Galvankova, Gender equality and women's empowerment programme specialist, UNDP

Public administration efforts have a significant impact on our daily life. They determine the way decisions made by governments are implemented, and how budgets are allocated and spent. Unfortunately, public administrations often leave out women’s voices in the planning, decision-making or implementation stages. When women are not involved in decision-making, their ability to shape the well-being of societies weakens considerably. … Read more

What does inequality look like?

15 Sep 2017 by Jodi Hilton, Photojournalist

Photographer Jodi Hilton traveled to 5 countries in Europe & Central Asia to document inequalities for UNDP’s Regional Human Development Report. Here is what she saw through her lens. … Read more

20 years of peace and justice in Eurasia: Four key trends

28 Aug 2017 by Shelley Inglis, Regional Team Leader, Governance and Peacebuilding, UNDP Eurasia

The past 20 years has seen the Europe and Central Asia region undergo tremendous changes. Our recently launched platform on Sustainable Development Goal 16 details some of those changes and how UNDP is supporting progress. Here are four quick takeaways. 1. Conflicts end, but their shadows remain After several violent conflicts in the 1990s, the Western Balkans region has progressed significantly. Two countries are now fully fledged members of the European Union (Slovenia and Croatia), and the remaining countries and territories are positioning for accession. … Read more

Are young women a key to the growth of Uzbekistan’s ICT industry?

25 Aug 2017 by Anvar Meliboev, Partnerships and Communications Specialist, UNDP Uzbekistan

Young women participants at the Technovation Challenge. Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan
Do you know who Margaret Hamilton is? Not many do. She was the computer scientist and systems engineer who programmed the Apollo 11 spaceflight. There is currently a greatly untapped resource of women programmers, who are essential to the understaffed global ICT industry (an estimated 800,000 extra professionals will be needed in Europe by 2020). But women programmers, especially those in management roles, make up a small minority of the world’s IT professionals. The landscape for women programmers is not much different here in Uzbekistan. The share of women in technical universities is only 16-22 percent of the total number of students. … Read more

Making “Women’s Work” Count

09 Aug 2017 by Bharati Sadasivam, Regional Gender Adviser, UNDP in Europe and Central Asia

Over the next few months, the 12,000 employees based at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California will complete their move to an extravagant new campus. The “spaceship,” covering 2.8 million square feet, includes a two-story yoga studio, running paths, and even revolutionary pizza boxes that keep slices crisp. One thing it does not have, however, is daycare. When it comes to ignoring the importance of childcare for working parents, Apple is far from unique. And that omission places a powerful drag on parents’ ability to achieve their economic potential, with women suffering the most. … Read more

Being intersex is hard, our silence makes it harder

07 Apr 2017 by Seda Karaca and John Macauley

The global silence around intersex lives reflects negatively on the mental health of intersex individuals and communities. A few weeks ago, during our sub-regional dialogue on #BeingLGBTI, we met Kris, an intersex and a trans person and an activist from Serbia, working actively on LGBTI rights issues. Kris has an intimate understanding of issues faced by intersex people and their families both through his personal experiences and professional work. One of the biggest obstacles for Kris has been to find people who are not traumatized enough to open up and talk about their experiences. In Kristian’s experience, there have been virtually no social support groups that would help him and other intersex individuals feel less isolated. That’s why these days he is part of an organisation providing support for LGBTI people. … Read more

In Kyrgyzstan, a new law protects girls against early marriage

25 Nov 2016 by Lucio Valerio Sarandrea, Chief Technical Advisor on Rule of Law

In only the first five months of this year, 49 children committed suicide in Kyrgyzstan. A helpline set up to assist children saw 476 cases. Too many young people in Kyrgyzstan feel hopeless and try to end their lives. In many cases, suicides of girls are prompted by sexual violence and the so-called local practice of “bride kidnapping.” The numbers are staggering: The latest study on a state-representative survey showed that 38 percent of Kyrgyz women married through such a practice. This averages 32 bride kidnapping a day, with 40 percent of them including rape. Nearly 14 percent of women currently aged 25 to 49 in Kyrgyzstan report having married by age 18. … Read more

Can women lead the global fight against corruption?

14 Nov 2016 by Shqipe Neziri Vela and Blerim Vela

kosovo-women-coding-course-anticorruption-gender-equalitySource: Girls Coding Kosova Facebook Page
When it comes to addressing corruption globally, there’s a lack of using gender-sensitive approaches. In recent years, we at UNDP in Kosovo* have carried out assessments on the impact of corruption on women and men. Most of this research proved that corruption is not gender neutral. That is to say, women experience corruption differently than men, which can limit their access to public services. At the same time, our studies have also shown women to be better at identifying corruption practices and more likely to find them unacceptable. But are women actually any less corrupt than men? … Read more

“I’m Not Afraid to Tell”: How Kazakh women are breaking the silence on gender-based violence

25 Jul 2016 by Dina Teltayeva, Communication Associate, UNDP Kazakhstan

Over the past few months, I’ve witnessed as women in Kazakhstan break their silence on sexual violence. A campaign titled #ЯнеБоюсьСказать (I’m not afraid to tell) и НеМолчи (Don’t keep Quiet) has led to many women sharing their stories. One of them is Dina Tansari (pictured), a well-known TV producer. … Read more

A Call to Action: Stop “Bride Kidnapping"

26 Feb 2015 by Lucio Valerio Sarandrea, Chief Technical Advisor on Rule of Law, UNDP Kyrgyzstan

Although local activists continue their efforts to stop the tradition of bride kidnapping, more work is needed to make a difference.
One of the less pleasant things associated with Kyrgyzstan is the cruel tradition of “bride kidnapping”. Recent research from local NGOs show that at least fifty percent of the marriages in the country involve elements of this ritual. Essentially, “bride kidnapping” is the ritual of ambushing a young woman and detaining her until she agrees to marry her kidnapper. In the best-case scenario, she is subject to enormous psychological pressure and brainwash from female relatives of the kidnapper to accept the marriage; the rest of the time, she is a subject of rape. I read a lot of sad stories about this tradition, most of which consist of cultural justifications based on the poor economic situation of Kyrgyzstan. But perhaps the most striking story of all is the direct account of a dark-eyed young woman who I will call Roza. … Read more

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