Speech by the UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan at the “Quality of legal expertise through a gender lens” training

June 3, 2024
Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan

Good morning, esteemed guests, distinguished panelists, and participants! 

On behalf of the United Nations Development Programme, I am honored to welcome you all to today’s workshop on gender expertise training for just transition. 

I am very thankful to our respected partners - Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Information and Culture – who joined us in facilitating this important dialogue on advancing gender equality and social justice within the framework of just transition.

Today Kazakhstan stands at a pivotal moment in its development trajectory, poised to navigate complex transitions towards a more sustainable and inclusive society. 

As the country strives to achieve its development goals and fulfill its commitments under international frameworks such as the SDGs and the Paris Agreement, it is imperative that gender considerations remain at the forefront of policymaking and implementation efforts.

Mounting evidence has revealed the differentiated impacts of climate change and environmental degradation on women and girls, especially those in vulnerable and marginalized situations. These impacts are compounded by women’s persistently unequal access to decent work, land and natural resources, finance, technology, knowledge, mobility and other assets. This inevitably constrains their ability to respond and build resilience to climate crises. As such, women are most at risk of being left out of the process and benefits of a just transition. 

The concept of just transition, rooted in social justice and equity principles, offers great opportunities for addressing gender inequalities in the labour market. This is made possible by creating decent work in sectors and value chains that men have typically dominated.

 A gender-responsive just transition is predicated on the centrality of gender equality and care in policies and programmes towards an economy that works for all people and the planet while upholding rights and the principle of leaving no one behind.

In Kazakhstan, as in many countries around the world, achieving gender equality and promoting women's empowerment are not only moral imperatives but also critical drivers of social progress, economic prosperity, and low-carbon growth.

The statistics from our recent gender study tell us a disturbing story of how social conditioning shapes the opportunities, choices, and well-being of women.  Still, more than 93 percent of the citizens in Kazakhstan have biases against women.

By unraveling the origins of stereotypes, and by deconstructing them we can understand how to challenge and change the harmful social norms that block the progress towards sustainable development for all. 

UNDP Kazakhstan remains committed to supporting the country in bringing women to the center of decision-making, bolstering their political participation and expanding their economic opportunities. The establishment of platforms such as “Women for Just Transition” is a clear example of creating and fostering a conducive environment for women to contribute to the low carbon development path of Kazakhstan. 

I hope during these two days of training we will be able to delve into various dimensions of just transition vis-à-vis gender agenda. As we embark on this journey of learning and collaboration, let us remain steadfast in our commitment to building a future where every individual, regardless of gender or background, can thrive and contribute to a more equitable and sustainable world.

Thank you. Kop rakhmet!