Gender equality

Gender equality is a human right. Women are entitled to live with dignity and with freedom from want and from fear. Gender equality is also a precondition for advancing development: Empowered women contribute to the health and productivity of whole families and communities, and they improve prospects for the next generation.

Still, despite solid evidence demonstrating the centrality of women’s empowerment to reducing poverty, promoting development and addressing the world’s most urgent challenges, globally gender equality remains an unfulfilled promise.

Gender equality is a human right. Women are entitled to live with dignity and with freedom from want and from fear. Gender equality is also a precondition for advancing development: Empowered women contribute to the health and productivity of whole families and communities, and they improve prospects for the next generation.

Still, despite solid evidence demonstrating the centrality of women’s empowerment to reducing poverty, promoting development and addressing the world’s most urgent challenges, globally gender equality remains an unfulfilled promise.

For more than 30 years, UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund has advocated for women and girls, promoting legal and policy reforms and gender-sensitive data collection, and supporting initiatives that improve women's health and expand their choices in life.

 

In Turkmenistan, UNFPA has been a strategic partner of the Government for more than two decades in advancing the women’s rights, promoting gender equality and supporting Turkmenistan’s national human rights system in fulfilling its obligations under the international human rights treaties, including the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). 

Throughout the years of partnership, the Government has achieved gradual and consistent results in the area of gender equality.  Among many achievements, the most recent one was the adoption of the National Action Plan (NAP) on Gender Equality in Turkmenistan for 2016-2020 - the document, which will serve as an instrument for advancement of gender equality and gender mainstreaming in all spheres of life. 

 

In line with the new fourth Country Programme priorities, UNFPA will provide full support to the implementation of the National Action Plan on Gender Equality in the areas where the UN agency can provide its expert support.  It is notable that the new Country Programme is co-financed by the Government of Turkmenistan, which demonstrates the commitment and national ownership of the Government to the issues of gender equality, women empowerment and reproductive rights.

In the area of engendering the national legislation and bringing it to the level of international standards, UNFPA continues providing technical support in development of the evidence-based gender-sensitive strategies, development programmes and laws.  UNFPA is also well positioned to work with the Government in strengthening the national legislation and institutional mechanisms for implementation and effective monitoring of the National Action Plan on Gender Equality.

Another distinctive area within the gender programme of UNFPA and the Government of Turkmenistan is the prevention of domestic violence, where the Government is planning to hold a sample survey on the status of women in the family, an activity recommended by the CEDAW Committee.

It is a known fact that when individuals have the information, power and means to choose whether and when to have children, human rights are advanced, communities are healthier, nations are stronger and economies more sustainable.  An important part of the gender programme within the Country Programme is women’s and adolescents girls’ access to reproductive health services and information.  When a woman can plan her family, she can plan the rest of her life.  Protecting and promoting her reproductive rights – including the right to decide the number, timing and spacing of her children – is essential to ensuring her freedom to participate more fully and equally in society. 

UNFPA is also pleased to continue supporting the integration of gender issues into the educational programmes of the higher education establishments of the country, including universities, technical colleges, secondary schools, as well as the Academy of Civil Service of Turkmenistan under the President of Turkmenistan. 

Availability of gender-disaggregated data helps form and increase investments in the area of gender equality and reproductive rights.  Having the data that adequately reflect differences and inequalities in the situation of women and men in all areas of life help formulate sound policies and action. UNFPA will work with the Government in strengthening the system to generate consistently quality gender-disaggregated data, as well as its analysis and utilization in policy making and programming around population issues, gender equality and reproductive health.  Thus, UNFPA will also support the Government in creating the monitoring system for measuring the progress of implementation of the National Action Plan on Gender Equality.