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Women and Economy


Women and economy is continuing to be one of the areas of our concern. It is one of the three priority areas for Kyrgyzstanin the framework of the BPFA implementation. Transition to market economy, structural changes in general led to decrease of women’s status in Kyrgyzstanand let also to poverty among women. Unemployment of women: 10,5 % in 2003. Women in 2004 comprised 54 % of all officially registered unemployed people. More then 40% of people live under poverty level. Development of women’s business is in the general business development. That is why it is needed to take measures for promotion of creation of favorable climate for women’s entrepreneurship development inKyrgyzstan. A Task Force (Thematic Group) was formed and an annual meeting was held in Bishkek in July. As a follow-up of this meeting several months work was concentrated on the development of the long-term strategy for this program. A group of volunteers work on development of the concept paper on women and economy, which concluded that it is preferable to focus on assistance to initiatives for women’s medium size business. To increase access for women to resources, to marketing, to business. Forum started working on setting up a long-tern program for creation of enabling environment for women to strengthen their income generating activities and medium business as a way to overcome poverty and improve economic status.

 

Because in order to reduce poverty, promote development and achieve gender equality, it is necessary to increase women’s access to economic resources, education, information and communication technologies and governance, as well as to protect women’s human rights and eliminate all forms of violence against women, Forum of Women’s NGOs of Kyrgyzstan set as one of its goals to increase women’s economic empowerment, which is one of the bases of strengthening women’s status in the country.

 

Expertise in promoting women entrepreneurship is in the process of development. Forum has a task Force on this area.

 

 

Task Force members on “Women and Economy” are from all Kyrgyzstan provinces.

Women and economy is continuing to be one of the areas of our concern. It is one of the three priority areas for Kyrgyzstanin the framework of the BPFA implementation. Transition to market economy, structural changes in general led to decrease of women’s status in Kyrgyzstanand let also to poverty among women. Unemployment of women: 10,5 % in 2003. Women in 2004 comprised 54 % of all officially registered unemployed people. More then 40% of people live under poverty level. Development of women’s business is in the general business development. That is why it is needed to take measures for promotion of creation of favorable climate for women’s entrepreneurship development inKyrgyzstan. A Task Force (Thematic Group) was formed and an annual meeting was held in Bishkek in July. As a follow-up of this meeting several months work was concentrated on the development of the long-term strategy for this program. A group of volunteers work on development of the concept paper on women and economy, which concluded that it is preferable to focus on assistance to initiatives for women’s medium size business. To increase access for women to resources, to marketing, to business Forum started working on setting up a long-tern program for creation of enabling environment for women to strengthen their income generating activities and medium business as a way to overcome poverty and improve economic status.

 

Geographical areas of the Forum of Women’s NGOs of Kyrgyzstan on women and economy

  1. All province of Kyrgyzstan
  2. Central Asia

 

Forum’s experience

    • Monitoring of the BPFA section on women and economy – published as part of theBeijing+10 review process.
    • Recommendations were developed for States of Central Asia on improving women’s economic status.
    • Organization of  the women’s NGOs  workshop and a conference on women’s economic empowerment factors and situation
    • Work as network  on the issue
    • Informal preliminary needs assessment during 2005-2008 (survey)

Forum of Women’s NGOs of Kyrgyzstan has held a national workshops on Women and economy in July 2006 in Bishkek. At the work of the workshops 22 participants from all provinces were present.

 

 

 Goals of the workshops:

·         Women’s capacity in the economic area.

·         Integration of women’s vision, interest and priorities in the countries economy.

·         Development and adoption of the long-term strategy of the Forum’s network on women’s and economy.

·         Adoption of the plan of action for the 2006-2009 for the TF “Women and Economy”.

Objective of the 2006 workshop:

  • Review o the state commitment at National Poverty Reduction Strategy, National Action Plan on Reaching Gender Equality in theKyrgyzRepublic, Kyrgyz laws and various national programs.
  • Analysis of the positive experience of the State and NGOs
  • Discussion of challenges and priorities in the area Women and economy
  • Discussion of the ways to improve, recommendations to state, women’s NGOs and international organizations.
  • Development of the monitoring mechanism of recommendations on how to improve women’s status and life.

Preparatory work lasted three month and during this period an agenda was discussed through email and six small group discussions in the Forum’s office.

 

At the workshops a head of the Secretariat of the National Council on Women, Family and Gender Development under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Toktokan Borombaeva, took part. She has noted that gender inequality still exist and many social and legal institutes don’t’ guarantee women equal opportunities for enjoying human rights, equal access to employment, credits and other recourses.

 

She made a review of the Secretariat’s activities in the implementation of the third’s strategic section of the National plan. She also made an analysis on micro financing for women. In the end she told about major priority directions of the Secretariat in the area of economical development.  Discussion led to an agreement that gender Secretariat will be given a packet of suggestions from the working group regarding national economical development and secondly it was agreed that Secretariat would promote women’s business projects.

 

Another speaker at the workshop was the head of women’s rural NGO Olga Djanaeva. She shared her experience of her organization working in the area of women’s rural economic problems. Turducan Narimbetova from Jalalabat led the discussion about women’s issues in rural South of Kyrgyzstan. Practically similar challenges in front of all

 

During the preliminary meeting it was agreed that women’s movement need cooperation with scholars and experts in order to effectively main an impact on development of the country.

 

Women discussed links between access to resources, poverty and social diseases like anemia and role that women’s NGOs may play in this area.

 

 

Outcome of the 2006 workshop:

Discussion of challenges and priorities in the area Women and economy was one of the main focus of the workshop. It was discussed and agreed that there are many economical challenges exist in front of women and especially in front of rural and migrant women. One of the significant moments was that women widened the approach and looked on not simply poverty but at its roots like lack of access to resources, lack of productive activities in the country, lack of equal opportunities for women to develop their business, to learn new market skills and the role of women’s NGOs in solving economical problems and thus reducing poverty.

 

It was agreed that women activists from the network should stronger and more strategically work together to reach better results. They need time and a series of meetings to come up with a solid women’s NGOs strategies to address economical problems of women’s and poverty.  General ideas and mechanism was designed how to mobilize network. Suggestion of the Forum to set up a task force on women and economy was supported. So the first step towards institutionalization of the network’s mobilization targeted at reducing poverty was done.

 

During discussion at small working groups general picture of ways to improve, recommendations to state, women’s NGOs and international  organizations was gained.

 

Development of the monitoring mechanism of recommendations on how to improve women’s status and life was assigned to the formed task force.

 

Because during those days inKyrgyzstanthere was a work on development of the mid-term country strategy task force worked on its contribution to this policy document in the form of ten suggestions. Editorial group has continued its work for two days after the workshops (Imanakunova fromIssyk-Kul, Narinbaeva from South and Smailova from Talas provinces) and later through e-mail the final text was presented and approved. Translation into Kyrgyz language was done by network members. E-mail signature list was continued and advocacy campaign started on inclusion of gender concern in the national strategy document.

 

The structure of the TF was agreed and an activist fromIssyk-Kul, Anarkan Ibraeva was selected as a chair of the TF and the following structure was adopted: chair, two co-chairs, experts.

 

As a follow-up of this meeting several months work was concentrated on the development of the long-term strategy for this program. During the July meeting of the TF wrote an Appeal with statement for inclusion into at that in process of development Strategy for country development with signature of our participants.  It was forwarded to Secretariat of the National Council on women, family and gender development for submission to the working group on Country Strategy also posted in our newsletter “Joogazyn”.

 

TF members took part in training on monitoring in October to gains monitoring skills to apply them in data collection and analysis of the economic status of women. Women monitor state obligations on implementation of CEDAW Committee recommendations as well of the BPFA, where entrepreneurship is stated as one of the priority areas of gender equality achievement in the area of economic relations.

 

A group of volunteers was set up to work out major priorities areas for Forum’s concentration and this group produced a concept paper on ways and forms to contribute to medium women’s entrepreneurship development. Participants of the TF meeting have discussed ways to open simple and accessible mechanisms allowing women to gain knowledge and start opportunities for setting up their own business. Several meetings were held in the Forum to discuss access for women to financial resources, new technologies, marketing.  Women and economy area of concern is one of the three priority areas forKyrgyzstanin the framework of the BPFA implementation.