USG-backed study outlines strategy to combat gender-based violence and aid survivors in Kyrgyz Republic
BISHKEK, 30 November, 2023 – During the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the results of the first comprehensive study of prevention, response, and rehabilitation services for GBV in the Kyrgyz Republic were presented today at a conference jointly organized by the U.S. government – through the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Jigerduu Jarandar project – and the Ministry of Labor, Welfare, and Migration of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The “Study on the Quality of Prevention Efforts and Services Available to Survivors of Gender-based Violence in the Kyrgyz Republic” identifies systemic and legislative gaps, which allow harmful social norms to prevail, making it difficult for survivors to access quality support, and prevent perpetrators from being brought to justice.
The study identifies areas for improvement in violence prevention and response services in the Kyrgyz Republic. Challenges such as unclear agency roles, coordination gaps, and inadequate procedures for funding and evaluation have been identified. The study emphasizes the importance of adopting the Supreme Court’s resolution to bring clarity to the interpretation of Criminal Code provisions in GBV cases, aiming for more consistent and fair court verdicts. Despite current limitations, there is potential for positive transformations in infrastructure to better support survivors with safe and reliable response services.
Key recommendations to address these challenges include strengthening the legal framework, standardizing response procedures and service quality; and addressing harmful social norms through awareness raising campaigns.
“According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, over 10 months of 2023, 10,416 cases of domestic violence were registered, 95.7% of the victims were women. These figures show an increase in domestic violence of more than 20% compared to the same period last year. These numbers indicate not only the problem, but also the need for change. That is why I urge everyone to unite and take responsibility for making changes in protection against gender-based violence so that they become a reality,” said Deputy Minister of Labor, Social Security and Migration of the Kyrgyz Republic Zhanyl Alybaeva in her opening remarks.
“No single person, institution, civil society organization, or government entity can resolve the issue of GBV alone. It requires coordination among all of us, motivated by the shared belief that gender-based violence has no place in our world,” said Lesslie Viguerie, U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic. “The U.S. government stands ready to partner with the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the people of this country as they strive to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.”
The conference Time to Act: Evidence-Driven Change to Stop Violence was jointly organized by USAID’s Jigerduu Jarandar project and the Ministry of Labor, Social Welfare and Migration conference as part of “the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” campaign. The study can be downloaded via the following link: https://pilresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/gender-based-violence-kyrgyzstan-brief-rus.pdf
Jigerduu Jarandar (JJ) is a five-year (2019-2024) project supported by USAID and implemented by FHI 360. Combating GBV is one of the key thematic areas of Jigerduu Jarandar’s work, along with improving waste management policies and practices, strengthening civil society and expanding citizens’ access to justice. Since 2020, JJ has supported eleven crisis centers and civil society organizations across the Kyrgyz Republic, providing shelter, legal and psychological assistance, and – since 2022 – economic empowerment to 7000 GBV survivors. To strengthen prevention measures, JJ has delivered capacity-building to 247 Local Committees for Protection from Domestic Violence to help them at their jobs. In addition, JJ supported the development of the current National Strategy and Action Plan for Achieving Gender Equality by 2030 and is working with policymakers to reform civil and criminal law for better protection against GBV and more equitable access to justice for survivors.