The Women Leadership Summit discusses opportunities for women in business and politics
NUR-SULTAN — The Kazakh capital hosted the Women’s Summit for former US government students on April 2, Kazinform reported.
The event brought together women leaders from business, technology, media and civil society to discuss women’s empowerment and foster collaboration to address societal challenges.
Judy Kuo, Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan, noted that supporting Kazakh women in business and entrepreneurship through a number of programs is a priority for the U.S. Embassy. United. National Alumni Network exchange alumni are “changemakers in their communities, and the U.S. Embassy is proud to support their successes for the benefit of Kazakh communities.”
Aigul Kuspan, Chairperson of Parliament’s Mazhilis Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security Committee, spoke about the achievements and challenges of implementing the gender policy. “Empowering women is a priority of Kazakh legislative measures. The government has created an institutional and regulatory framework for the effective implementation of the gender policy,” she said.
The Central Asian region still faces some challenges related to gender equality. “Working women are always paid less than men. In Kazakhstan, women earn on average 25% less than men. Twenty years ago, that figure was 38%,” Kuspan added.
The legal protection of women and girls against violence also poses certain challenges, including the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace and domestic violence.
UN Women’s Representative in Kazakhstan, Maria Dotsenko, welcomed Kazakhstan’s adoption of its National Action Plan 1325 and the recent abolition of the list of prohibited occupations for women, and listed a number of suggestions for promote gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in the country. She called for the creation of a pool of female talent in Kazakhstan for new appointments to leadership positions in the civil service and welcomed the gender quota with a minimum threshold of 30% for women in the parastatal sector which was introduced last year.
Other issues discussed at the meeting included women’s empowerment in politics, media, entrepreneurship, science and technology.