Why is a 30% gender quota in local councils important?

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On 6 March, a national forum was held in the state residence “Ala-Archa” with the participation of deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh, women deputies from local councils, Roza Otunbayeva, former president of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Chairman of the Central Electoral Commission of KR, representatives of the President’s Office, independent experts, representatives of non-governmental and international organizations.

The forum was organized by the NGO "Women Support Center" with the support of the OSCE Program Office in Bishkek, UN Women and UNDP.

The purpose of the forum was to promote political rights of women in Kyrgyzstan, in particular, to promote the draft law on the reservation of mandates for women in local councils of the Kyrgyz Republic (Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On the election of deputies of local councils”, registration number 6-19987 / 18).

Every year, as part of the International Women's Day celebration, women's movement in Kyrgyzstan consolidates its efforts to draw public’s and decision-makers’ attention to the history of women’s struggle for political rights.

Currently, the urgent issue is to create mandated quotas for women in local councils. The draft law proposes to use the reservation of a 30% quota for women in local councils of the Kyrgyz Republic (articles 59-1, 62) as a special measure, which will ensure a representation of women in the deputy body of local councils at least 30%.

Why is it important?

In 2012, Kyrgyzstan switched to the two-level budget, according to it, deputies of local councils manage expenditures of the rural budget. After all, the representation of women in decision-making processes directly related to the solution of social issues, the interests of children, women, and vulnerable groups. This topic is particularly relevant in the year of regional development and digitalization.

Over the past 15 years, there has been a downward trend in numbers of women deputies of local councils. In 2004 there were elected - 19%, in 2008 - 17%, in 2012 - 12%, in 2016-10%.  At the same time, today in 86 local councils, meaning in every fifth local council, there was not elected a single woman.  With the current downward trend in numbers of women deputies of local councils, in 2028 there will be no women deputies in local councils, and taking into account the growing influence of gender stereotypes in rural areas, in 2020 women in local councils will be less than 2%.

Today, women deputies of local councils from all regions of the country, in cooperation with civil society and international organizations, are in favor of promoting the political rights of women at all levels of government. This initiative will be carried out within the framework of the implementation of the National Action Plan for Achieving Gender Equality in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2018-2020.