Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (July 13, 2012) – Leading experts in the sphere of state and municipal services, gender specialists and experts, representatives of UN agencies gathered today in Bishkek to discuss gender issues in public services. They will study the situation with standardization and regulation of public services and develop a terms of reference that will outline requirements for introducing a gender dimension into public service delivery.
In the course of the seminar experts will review such key public services as healthcare, education, social protection, security, as well as services related to gender violence, documentation, information, water and land resources.
Increasing of gender sensitivity in delivery public services is a complex task in a situation when the quality of such services is quite low and state and municipal authorities often cannot distinguish their mandates. Moreover, the situation is complicated with incomplete process of fiscal and financial decentralization as well as low capacity of local officials in responding to specific needs of vulnerable groups of population.
Nurgul Asylbekova, UNDP Country Programme Gender Coordinator, notes: “Unfortunately, state structures in our country do not take into consideration the human dimension when delivering their services. Public services are commercialized and turned into profit-generating activity for state structures. The objective to contribute to human development and realization of human rights has turned to the means for making money on the needs of people. Indeed, it is a task of the government to provide equal access to resources, care about citizens’ health, their education, registration of population, order and security. Alternatively, a single mother with a disabled child, for instance, has to spend months camping on the doorsteps, gather tens of inquiries, give gifts to authorities in order to get recognized her child’s disability status and receive a miserable allowance. Gender assessment of public services delivered by state and municipal authorities will reveal the system-wide barriers to women’s and men’s access to basic services. Women – heads of households, widows, single mothers with disabled children and representatives of ethnic minorities will be given a special attention”
Achievement of equality between women and men is recognized as one of the key development goals in Kyrgyzstan. It is reflected in the efforts of the country in fulfilling international obligations on achievement of gender equality, national legislation, as well as the Medium Term Country Development Strategy for 2009-2011 and the National Action Plan to Achieve Gender Equality 2012-2015.
The seminar is organized as part of the project “Operationalising Good Governance for Social Justice”. It was launched in October 2011 and will be implemented during 36 months until October 2014. The Project aims to increase and render more equitable rights to public services for citizens, especially for vulnerable groups - women, youth and children in 30 rural municipalities in seven regions of Kyrgyzstan. This project is implemented by UNDP, UNICEF, UN Women and UNESCO. The European Union co-finances this programme together with the above-mentioned UN agencies.