Kazakhstan heads the chairmanship of the Dialogue of Women of Central Asian Countries in 2023

A meeting of the Dialogue of Women of Central Asian Countries on the topic was held in Astana today: “The role of women in the development of innovation and technology”, organized with the support of the United Nations, the National Commission for Women, and Family and Demographic Policy under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as the non-profit organization “TechnoWomen”.

This event opened the chairmanship of Kazakhstan in the Dialogue of Women of Central Asian Countries. It was attended by speakers of the chambers of the parliaments of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, deputies from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, heads of state bodies, as well as representatives of non-governmental and international organizations, the diplomatic corps. 

The guests of the Dialogue – Speaker of the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan Yerlan Koshanov, Chairman of the Constitutional Court Elvira Azimova, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Chairman of the National Commission for Women and Family and Demographic Policy under the President of the Republic Aida Balayeva, Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations Miroslav Encha – delivered a welcoming speech.

Yerlan Koshanov noted that the elimination of the digital gender gap should become a priority in the countries of Central Asia.

“President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is convinced that the level of development of the country is measured by the position of women in society. We believe that today’s meeting will contribute to the comprehensive expansion of women’s participation in the social, economic and political life of the countries of the region. In this regard, modern information and communication technologies create new opportunities for gender equality,” Yerlan Koshanov said.

In her speech, Aida Balayeva focused on the integration of the efforts of active women from the countries of the Central Asian region, the women’s business community, academic and scientific circles, non-governmental and civil sectors.

“Given this platform and the active potential of its participants, we can jointly solve common problems of improving the quality of life of women, our families, especially in the face of global and regional challenges,” Aida Balayeva said.  

Aida Balayeva also proposed to expand cooperation between scientific and expert communities of Central Asian countries on topical issues of demographic development, gender equality, implement projects in the field of tourism, culture, interact in the field of ecology, develop trade, including digital.

The meeting was moderated by the Deputy Chairman of the Majilis of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, Denmark Espayeva. She spoke about the priorities of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the Dialogue of Women of Central Asian Countries. In particular, at the initiative of our country, digitalization is included in the priorities of the Dialogue as a new effective tool for the broad involvement of women in socio-economic relations. Kazakhstan has great achievements in this matter, which it is ready to share.

Our country intends to expand the exchange of experience on the role of women in ensuring peace and security. Currently, six Kazakh military observers, including one female servicewoman, are participating in the UN mission in Western Sahara. The Roadmap for expanding the participation of the Armed Forces of our country in UN peacekeeping missions includes an item on the training of female military personnel.  

As a result of the session, an Action Plan for the Dialogue of Women of Central Asian Countries for 2023 was adopted. It included the holding of the International Conference “Women, Peace and Security” in Almaty.

With the support of the non-profit organization “TechnoWomen” Central Asia at the thematic session: “Best practices in the field of innovation and technology development with the participation of women” a presentation of successful innovative projects demonstrating the role of women in the development of new technologies was held.  The projects were presented by representatives of the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.

The “Family and Society” block includes such projects as “Akyl Ayym” by A. KASYMBEKOV (Kyrgyzstan), “Center for Remote Monitoring of Pregnant Women” by D. TOMILOV (Kazakhstan), “Digital Mathematics” by F. AKSHOLAKOV (Kazakhstan), “iCode- educational program for girls” by N.MURODOV (Tajikistan); 

The block “Business and employment” presented the projects “Development of artificial intelligence and women’s startups” by G. UALI (Kazakhstan), “Codify – a platform for training and employment in IT” by D. RUSLAN (Kyrgyzstan), “Development of an IT hub in Kyrgyzstan” by A. ISMAILOVA (Kyrgyzstan), “Dalatek – a platform for agribusiness” D. ATAJANOVA (Uzbekistan), “Coozin – home kitchen delivery platform” M. LUTFILAEVA (Uzbekistan), “TechnoWomen Tajikistan” M. USMONOVA (Tajikistan), “Iman Pay” – A system for paying for purchases in several parts T. NURAKHUNOVA (Uzbekistan), “Digitalization for rural women” A. KENZHEBEK (Kazakhstan), “Digitalization as a tool for uniting people in solving environmental problems” A. CHYNYBAYEVA (Kyrgyzstan).

During this session, the participants discussed digital projects aimed at the development of women’s startups, artificial intelligence, digitalization in rural areas, and also reviewed developments aimed at solving topical issues of family and society, women’s entrepreneurship, vocational education and employment. 

The participants of the Dialogue drew attention to the structural and economic problems faced by women. According to the UN Women Regional Office, more than 60 million women in Europe and Central Asia do not have access to mobile Internet and therefore miss opportunities for education and economic development more often than men.      

Gender inequality in the exact and natural sciences turns out to be cross-cutting. It begins in high school, strengthens in high school, increases in university and ends with the labor market. As a result, women are relatively underrepresented in the areas responsible for creating technical and technological innovations.  

At the same time, according to experts, modern digital transformation opens up opportunities for the expansion of economic and social rights and opportunities for women and can be used for gender equality, the goal of achieving which is stated by all Central Asian states.   

For reference. The Women’s Dialogue of Central Asian countries is an informal platform for discussing topical issues of development and strengthening cooperation between women in the region.

The dialog was launched in December 2020. In previous years, Uzbekistan (2021) and Turkmenistan (2022) presided over the Dialogue.  The Dialogue was created and operates with the support of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (RCPCA), the UN Development Program (UNDP) and the UN Women structure.