Strengthening Gender-responsive and Survivor-Centered Justice to prevent and respond to Violence against Women and Girls in the Kyrgyz Republic

December 5, 2022
Louise Chamberlain gives her opening remarks

Louise Chamberlain gives her opening remarks

Aziza Murzashova/ UNDP Kyrgyzstan

6 December 2022, Bishkek – Under the framework of the Spotlight Initiative, UNDP presented national progress aimed at improving gender-sensitive, survivor-centered practices of law enforcement and justice actors to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the Kyrgyz Republic. This included the development of action plans and 40-hours curricula which intend to guide reform in the Supreme Court, the Advocatura, the Office of the General Prosecutor and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in line with international standards on VAWG and the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

The roundtable also discussed introduced gender-transformative modules adopted by the law faculties of four University, to increase knowledge and skills of law students on gender issues, women’s rights and standards on VAWG.

Representatives from the Cabinet of Ministers, Parliament, European Union, international organizations and academia exchanged views on promoting gender transformation in law enforcement bodies and across the justice system to ensure human rights-based approaches and gender-responsive practices are applied when dealing with cases and survivors of VAWG.

In her opening speech Louise Chamberlain highlighted the importance to strengthen support for women's rights organizations and promote strong and empowered feminist movements as the most critical factor in ending what is the most pervasive human rights violation in the world.

“The important role of women’s organizations in combatting violence against women and girls has also been recognized in the context of the Spotlight Initiative, a global partnership of the United Nations supported by the European Union, to which goes our deep appreciation for their vital contribution to the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights around  the world,” said Louise Chamberlain.

Chinara Musabekova, expert of the Kyrgyz Association of Women Judges said that new manuals for judges, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies and the changes in training curricula focused on improving gender-responsive service delivery and the role of duty bearers for implementation of people-centered criminal justices.

“A gender-sensitive system is not only critical for protecting survivors, but also for holding abusers accountable to prevent them from re-offending or posing further risk. Survivors' trust in the system will encourage many more to speak up and make potential offenders fearful of prosecution, ultimately flattening the curve of violence in our homes and communities."

Rimma Sultanova, gender expert, shared her recent experience of introducing gender knowledge and a gender-sensitive approach in the law departments of four leading universities: the Kyrgyz National Law University, Kyrgyz National University, Osh State University and Academy of Management under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic.

“We worked with faculty from four leading universities preparing future justice, law enforcement and human rights professionals to integrate the concepts of women's and girls' rights and gender equality into their curricula. Violence can be significantly reduced by investing in the development of behavioral change education programs at all levels that promote women's rights. Universities can shape young people's knowledge, attitudes and beliefs,” said Gulmira Rasulova.

Teachers and  professors from the law departments learned the methodology of the Gender Action Learning System which led to the development of the Collection of Gender Transformation Models based on interactive teaching methods in key subjects, such as legal psychology, gender policy,  criminal law, and criminal procedure. The Ministry of Education and Science recommends this collection in their curricula for universities working in the fields of law and social work.

In addition, the experts shared the findings and recommendations of the recent gender audit conducted at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Bar Association, the Supreme Court and other courts, as well as at the Ministry of Labour, Social Welfare and Migration. The recommendations are included in the Action Plans to foster the implementation of Kyrgyzstan's national gender policy and international commitments.

 “This allows all interested parties - based on the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of these plans - to increase the effectiveness of public oversight of state-guaranteed equal rights and opportunities to eliminate gender discrimination, prevent gender-based violence and promote the sustainable development of society,” said Anara Niyazova, head of the Innovation Solutions Public Foundation.