Enhancing Women’s Political Participation in Kazakhstan
30 April 2014
UN Women conducted a workshop with members of Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, government officials and members of the National Commission for Women to discuss the topics of temporary special measures (TSMs) to enhance women’s political participation in Kazakhstan.
Electoral Systems and Temporary Special Measures – High-Level Workshop with Kazakh Parliamentarians and Ministers
At the initiative of the National Commission for Women, Family and Demographic Policy under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NCW), the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan and UN Women’s Multi-Country Office in Kazakhstan, UN Women organized a high-level workshop with government officials, members of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the members of the NCW to discuss the topics of temporary special measures (TSMs) to enhance women’s political participation in Kazakhstan. The workshop was held in the Alatau Health Resort Hotel complex outside of Almaty, in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains from April 11-12, 2014.
Women are under-represented in all areas of political life in Kazakhstan and have not achieved the critical mass that is necessary to have an effective voice in policy-making. The training was requested to specifically address this shortfall and to help Kazakhstan achieve the targets set forth in their international commitments. The recently revised BRIDGE module on gender and elections (UNDP-GPECS 2012) was adopted as basis for the course. Over the 2 days, the workshop introduced electoral systems and their effect on the design of temporary special measures. Participants reviewed and assessed comparative legislative measures from different countries. The course culminated with a session where the participants applied the theories and identified the TSM options possible under Kazakhstan’s unique electoral system. Other legislative options for supporting women’s empowerment were also introduced, including political party and political finance measures.
In all, the course was a unique opportunity to study the technical aspects of electoral systems and TSMs. Participants expressed great satisfaction with the course and reported that they felt better equipped to address the technical components involved in the introduction of TSMs. The course was facilitated by Gabrielle Bardall (USA, Expert-level Accrediting Facilitator).