Young Gender Activists Turn Kyrgyz Parliament Orange to End Violence Against Women And Girls

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Young gender activists visit MPs and call on Parliament to pass a bill introduced by women deputies that sets out mechanisms to fight domestic violence and provides victims with legal and medical support.

As a part of national activities for the global 16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women and Girls campaign, on 29 November young gender activists led by prominent MP Ms. Ainuru Altybaeva called on the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic to support a bill to fight domestic violence.

The activists, graduates of UN Women’s My Safe and Peaceful School peer education course, spoke to more than 100 deputies and parliament staff about the 16 Days of Activism campaign and its goals. They then called on MPs to support the second and third readings of a draft bill introduced by women deputies, On the safeguarding and protection from domestic violence, which sets-out concrete mechanisms to fight domestic violence and provide victims with legal, medical, and social support.

The theme of this year’s global 16 days of Activism campaign, which began on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and will end 10 December, Human Rights Day, is “Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence against Women and Girls.”

Across Kyrgyzstan, where domestic violence and bride kidnapping are still widespread, more than 70 campaign-supporting events were held to raise awareness of and combat gender-based violence.

One of Kyrgyzstan’s strongest voices in the fight for gender equality, Ms. Altybaeva said she felt optimistic about Parliament’s pledge to do its part to combat gender-based violence, and added: “My supporters and I will be firm on this issue until the very end.”

The activists also called on deputies to support coordinated efforts by civil society, Parliament, government, the UN and the international community to eliminate gender-based violence.

“It is encouraging to note that Parliament is not standing aside, and are showing their willingness to join the international movement on this issue,” Ms. Altybaeva noted.

The activists also brought parliamentarians’ attention to related measures, including the fact that criminal cases involving violence toward women often end with extremely light sentences for the accused.

After a tour of Parliament, the activists gave MPs, party leaders and committee representatives orange “UNiTE to end violence against women” bracelets. After asking MPs to publicly display their solidarity with the 16 Days of Activism campaign, the activists called on parliamentary leaders to support the campaign and to bring the fight for gender equality to the Kyrgyz government.