ASTANA, 16 May 2012 - Miroslava Beham, OSCE Senior Adviser on Gender Issues, started today her visit to Kazakhstan during which she will discuss gender issues and exchange experiences with Kazakhstani officials, civil society, academics and journalists.
The two-day visit included a meeting with Gulshara Abdykalikova, Labour Minister of Kazakhstan who also chairs the National Commission on Women and Family-Demographic Politics and members of the Majilis (lower chamber of the Parliament).
“A gender perspective is an important part of the OSCE’s comprehensive approach to security,” Beham said during the meeting with the Labour Minister. “If we want to achieve security and lasting peace in any society, we cannot ignore gender issues and women’s rights.”
“The national Strategy for Gender Equality is an important step taken by the Kazakhstan authorities towards achieving equal rights for men and women. However, there is still room for development, for instance regarding the representation of women in political life, especially in decision-making positions.”
Ambassador Natalya Zarudna, the Head of the OSCE Centre in Astana who participated in the meetings, positively assessed the “fruitful longstanding co-operation with the Kazakhstani side”. She said that “Kazakhstan’s 33rd place among 154 countries according to the Gender Equity Index is a clear indicator of the progress made by this nation in promoting gender-balanced policy which the OSCE and the Commission have jointly contributed to”.
Tomorrow Beham will travel to Almaty to deliver a lecture on the topic “Gender Issues as an Approach to Security in the OSCE Region” at the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. On May 18 she will speak about the strategy and best practices in promoting gender equality in the OSCE region at a high-level conference on “Gender Aspects of Society’s Modernization” at the Kazakh Women State University.