On 20-25 October Labrys participated in the work of the 42nd Session of the UN Committee on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, as reported earlier. There was some very intensive lobbying and advocacy done around the event with Committee Members during several informal lunches, Informal Meeting of the Committee with NGOs, and other venues.
On 18 November the Committee released its Concluding Observations to the Third Periodic Report of Kyrgyzstan on the implementation of the Convention. Observations number 43 and 44 directly touch upon the issues of sexuality with regards to women’s issues.
43. The Committee is concerned about reports of discrimination and harassment against women because of their sexuality as well as about acts of harassment against women in prostitution by police officials.
44. The Committee urges the State party to take all appropriate measures to ensure that the Convention applies to all women without discrimination and to further take all necessary steps to protect them from all forms of discrimination and violence by public and private individuals.
This goes in line with the strategic interests of the LGBT movement in Kyrgyzstan, as well as with the lobbying goal of Labrys during the 42nd CEDAW Session. Even one mention of the issue of sexuality in a homophobic and patriarchic country such as Kyrgyzstan is an achievement and a great step forward. Thus, it may be concluded that Labrys’ advocacy with the CEDAW proved to be successful. Alga, Labrys!
Now together with other women’s NGOs that participated in the review of the Third Periodic Report of Kyrgyzstan at the 42nd Session Labrys will focus on mainstreaming the Concluding Observations. As part of this strategy, Labrys will also collaborate with governmental institutions on gender equality and progress of women on elimination of discrimination on bases of sexual orientation or gender identity of women and men in Kyrgyzstan.