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Inclusive consultations with the public and non-government organizations for the preparation of the Sixth Periodic National Report for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was the focus of the working meeting, supported by UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund. The meeting was facilitated by the Institute of State, Law and Democracy of Turkmenistan and organized jointly with the Regional Office for Central Asia of the UN Human Rights Office.

The CEDAW is the only comprehensive international document, which obliges the signatory member-states to guarantee women’s rights and address the issue of discrimination against women.  Turkmenistan ratified the CEDAW in 1997 and signed its Optional Protocol in 2009.

Every four years the Government of Turkmenistan provides the periodic reports to the CEDAW Committee, which is prepared by the Interdepartmental Commission on compliance with Turkmenistan’s international commitments in the field of human rights. The Committee then issues Concluding Observations or recommendations based on the reports that serve as a guidance for further improvement of the implementation of the Convention in the country. The CEDAW treaty is a tool that helps women around the world to bring about change in their daily life.

Turkmenistan’s next report is due in July 2022. The report will be prepared by the Working Group of Interministerial Committee on UN Treaty Body obligations of Turkmenistan, with the UNFPA support, and will engage all government, non-governmental organizations as well as the general public in its development. Engagement with the NGOs is an important milestone as the Committee recommended strengthening cooperation with civil society organizations in the implementation of all areas covered by the Convention, including in the development of related policies and programmes and in the preparation of Turkmenistan’s sixth periodic report.

The Concluding Observations issued by the CEDAW Committee during the previous reporting periods continue to be adapted by the Government of Turkmenistan to further strengthen the gender equality protection mechanisms in the country. Specifically, the second National Action Plan on Gender Equality for 2021-2025 was approved in 2021 as an instrument for advancing gender equality in response to the CEDAW Concluding Observations through seven strategic directions, including engendering the legislation, gender-responsive healthcare, equal access to education, preventing gender-based violence against women and girls, economic empowerment of women and girls, increasing the participation of women at all levels, including in the political and public spheres and strengthening institutional mechanisms to support gender equality.