Posted by: kyrgyzlabrys | October 24, 2008

UN updates: Kyrgyz government avoids facing LBT issues

23 October

Geneva, October

The delegation of Kyrgyz Republic to 42nd CEDAW session presented its Third Periodic Report to the distinguished Committee Members on 23 October, focusing on the achieviements the country has made in guaranteeing advancement of women there. The government stressed on the introduction of 30% quota for women in state institutions and the parliament, and bragged about numerous courses on gender sensitivity and gender theory being introduced largely and everywhere in the school and university curricula.

The report lasted for about an hour, after which the Committee Members started asking questions on the report and the additional information provided by Shadow Reports of NGOs from Kyrgyzstan. Majority of questions centered around the issues of bride kidnapping, forced marriage and maternal mortality, as well as violence against women. In this regard, one of the Committee Members, Ms Sylvia Pimentel, asked a question on the plight of LBT women in Kyrgyzstan. More precisely, she asked how did the government of Kyrgyz Republic ensure and whether it actually did ensure the protection and promotion of human rights of women with alternative sexuality and/or gender identity. The second question on LBT issues (also from Ms Pimentel) was whether the issue of homophobia was covered in efforts of the Kyrgyz Republic to eliminate gender stereotypes in education.

The answers to these questions were less than satisfactory and openly misleading. To the first question one of the representatives of the governmental delegation said that they acknowledged the problematics of LBT issues, and that they realized the need for further research into the issue. This goes into straight conflict with what the governmental delegation told Labrys in an inofficial setting in Geneva, i.e. the impossibility of raising the LBT issues in the country because of the unreadiness of Kyrgyz people to accept it.

The answer to the second question was not actually even an answer. The member of the governmental delegation made her way around the question, making a point of saying that courses on gender sensitivity and gender in general are included in all school curricula of the country.

So overall the answers of the Kyrgyz delegation were highly unsatisfactory, but on the other hand – it is a progress for the CEDAW Committee Members to start raising these issues, and two questions are a good count. Now here is to hoping that LBT issues are included in the Concluding Comments to the government of Kyrgyz Republic next week.

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