An estimated one in three women worldwide (35 percent) have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner or a non-partner in their lifetime. The impact of such violence can transcend generations: research suggests that girls and boys who witness gender-based violence in their homes are at greater risk of being victims or perpetrators of violence in their adulthood.
The countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) are no exception to these trends. Nearly 30 percent of women in Kyrgyzstan and nearly 20 percent of women in Kazakhstan have reported some form of violence from men, primarily their intimate partners, in their lifetime. The actual figures are likely to be higher since data remains scarce or outdated and incidents are consistently under-reported.
Furthermore, girls in many parts of the region are subject to early and forced marriage and bride kidnapping – also forms of gender-based violence. Girls in early or forced marriages are vulnerable to domestic violence and sexual abuse, being trapped in unequal relationships and experiencing violence from other family members.
About the conference
Against this background, UNDP, UN Women, UNFPA and UNICEF, in partnership with the Government of Kyrgyzstan, are together organizing a regional conference to turn policies into action in combating all forms of violence against women and girls.
The conference will bring together lawmakers, government officials, civil society and experts from all countries of Central Asia working to promote legal and policy measures to address gender-based violence. Representatives from other countries will be invited to share their expertise and experience in combating gender-based violence. The event will promote coalition-building to exchange good practice and address persisting and emerging challenges.
The overall objective of this regional conference is to enhance regional and national collaboration and promote holistic national responses to gender-based violence aligned with international standards. The specific objectives are:
- Bridge gaps in the compliance of national legal and policy frameworks with international standards;
- Foster the exchange of experiences within and outside the region to strengthen national legal and policy frameworks.
See the concept note (English | Russian) and agenda (English | Russian)
Editor's Note: If you found this news interesting, also check out: Central Asian governments call for the elimination of violence against women and girls