Year 2024 - «Fount of Wisdom
Magtymguly Fragi

04 May 2015


Achievement of the gender equality - one of the priorities of the development of Turkmenistan

Gender equality means society, in which women and men have equal opportunities, rights and obligations in all spheres of life. Equality between women and men it’s when representatives of both sexes can equally have access to the educationand healthcare, management and authority, have equal opportunities to reach financial independence, by working on someone or managing own business, realization of personal and professional needs and interests. Critical aspect in achievement of gender equality isallotment of women with authority and more wide opportunities in different spheres of society development as well as involvement of men in the process of achievement of gender equality.

Life conditions of men and women are significantly different, to a certain extent by virtue of female reproductive function, social and culturalspecifics and traditions, but they shouldn’t negatively affect life conditions of women and men, lead to discrimination and should appropriately be taken into account so that to be reflected in the equal distribution of economic, social and political opportunities.Modern conditions of globaldevelopment and paradoxes of globalization affect women’s position. Ensuring the rights of women contributes to the strengthening of democracy; enhance prosperity, stability and tolerance.

Countries where women are taking a worthy place, where they can have life choice, equal access and participation in social and state life, are most stable, vital countries ready for the challenges of the new century.

Today in the world women make up about 70% of the poor, occupy only 14% managerial positions, 6% minister cabinet posts, not more than 11% of the seats in the parliamentsWomen almost doesn’t affect on adopting of decisions in issues of economical development, resource allocation, state security, diplomacy, on policy formation, which determines their own fate. Most of the decisions are made by the men, who dominate in political structures.

From the first year of its independence Turkmenistan is systematically implementing measures to improve the situation of women and gender equality.

In accordance with the Constitution of Turkmenistan men and women are having an equal rights and freedoms and equal opportunities for their realization. National legislation provides legal mechanisms and guarantees to achieve a balanced participation of men and women in the power structures, providence of equal opportunities for economical independence of women, development of own business and advancement on career, creation of the conditions for equal implementation of the rights and obligations in the family.

Development of independent Turkmenistan took place during all these years in close cooperation with UN and it’s structures, including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).In 1996 our country joined to the convention on liquidation of all the forms of discrimination against the women(CEDAW), in 2009 – to the Facultative protocol to it. Also Turkmenistan adopted Program of Beijing Platform for Action of the IV World Conference on Women, 20th anniversary of which is celebrated this year. Following the assumed obligations, Turkmenistan developed a strategy to promote gender equality and consistently takes steps to implement into national law and practices generally accepted international legal norms and positions, concerning the establishment of equal opportunities for men and women. National programmes of social and economic development of Turkmenistan interrelated with the UN Millennium Declaration, in which gender equality highlighted as one of the main objectives in particular related to the objectives on protection of the health of women and children, education, promotion of gender equality, empowerment of women opportunities.

Within the framework of its activities United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) assists to Turkmenistan in promoting gender equality through the expertise and technical support, including the organization of seminars, workshops, on the improvement of national legislation, organizes a study tours to gain international experience in this field.

Jointly with Turkmen National institute of democracy and human rights under the President of Turkmenistan and Working Group of the Interministerial Commission on compliance with Turkmenistan's international commitments in the field of human rights and international humanitarian law, there were held a series of seminars with the participation of international experts. It was developed a strategy for the work on the National Action Plan on Gender Equality.

Jointly with State Committee of Turkmenistan on Statistics a lot of work was done by the UNFPA to prepare and conduct the census in 2012, they defined gender aspects of the demographic situation and their qualitative assessments.  

In grandiose activities implemented in the country in the era of power and happiness the contribution of women is immense. Turkmenistan considers one of its priorities to ensure a happy life for women, mothers, and protection of their rights. The development of women's potential in Turkmenistan is successfully implemented through the introduction of gender mainstreaming in strategies and national programs.

Today, women make up 50.2% of the population. State program to ensure substantive equality for women, enhance their role in social and political life has become a fundamental national and international legislative basis. Constitution of Turkmenistan guarantees providing women with equal rights and opportunities. Law of Turkmenistan “On state guarantees of equal rights for women” from 14.12.2007 regulates the participation of NGOs in ensuring gender equality.

On January 22, 2015, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov approved National Action Plan on gender equality for 2015-2020, as a tool for further advancement of gender equality, aimed on creation necessary conditions for further expanding of participation of women in all spheres of life of the state and society. Particular importance is attached to close cooperation with the UN and other international organizations that contribute to the successful implementation of the gender policy in the region.

Turkmen women make up 46% of the total number of employees in institutions and enterprises of the country.

The fact that half of the workers in the country are women, witnesses about how wide they are using their constitution rights on labor. Women occupy a worthy place in the supreme bodies of state authority and in the fields of science and education, art and culture, health care and sports, widely and actively expand their business.

Gender equality in the management of state affairs is reflected in how women are represented in positions that allow influencing the formation of public policy at the district, regional and national level. From election to election to the Mejlis - the highest legislative body - the number of women is increasing.  Mejlis of Turkmenistan for the two convocations is headed by a woman Akcha Nurberdieva, 33 out of 125 deputies – are women, accounting for 26.4%.

At various levels of state governing 25.4% of women are working, indicating the active participation of women in decision-making.  Among them is a woman - Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, women ministers, deputy ministers, and rectors of universities, leaders of non-governmental organizations, diplomats, doctors, teachers, prosecutors and judges of the courts. Share of women employed in the economy is 42.3%. Share of women employed in the social-cultural sphere is 63.7%, including 66.2% in education, 63.7% in health care, in other spheres - 63.7%. New trend of the activities of women became business and entrepreneurship.

In those spheres where gender aspects are taken into account, the effectiveness of programs and policies are being increased. Thus, the development of women's entrepreneurship is an alternative to unemployment and poverty as well as it promotes the social stability in the society and in the state. Today in the private sector of the economy 46.8% of women are employed.

Important role in achievement of gender equality is played by the family, which is the basic unit of the society.

Upbringing of the future generation depends on the family. “An individual is formed as a personality in the family, learns to respect, appreciate and love each other, cognizes traditions. The family forms a protective environment against external threats and gives hope for the future for all its members, women and men, children and the elderly. Happy people form a happy family. Happy family forms happy and successful state”.

Today, however, the traditional family is faced with many challenges: divorces, unregistered marriages, which have a negative effect on the psyche of children and the quality of their upbringing. Problems of the family crisis lead to demographic problems that adversely affect women’s ability to realize themselves in the society.

In the traditions of the Turkmen people whose history goes back five thousand years, there was always upbringing of strong, noble generation and the duty of every family is to be the successor of this glorious tradition. Women are able to store and protect family values using rich experience of parenting and the formation of new generations accumulated by the ancestors.

High morality, integrity, compassion, loyalty are beautiful features that are inherent to our women. Turkmen women with their skilful hands create exquisite carpets and embroideries. Their talent and hard work manifested in these creations. Over the centuries, this high art passed down from mother to daughter, from generation to generation, and became a sort of the school of upbringing.

Turkmenistan really cares about young people, about the newly created families. Today, young people are having excellent opportunities in learning different professions, including the training outside of Turkmenistan, employment opportunities and excellent living conditions.

State care of women is a sign of the healthy society, its humaneness and morality. Personal attention to this issue by President of the country is the guarantor of the success of the implementation of relevant adopted programs.

On April 10, 2015 Turkmenistan has been elected to the Executive Board of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN - Women). This is another step confirming the position of Turkmenistan which is aimed at promoting gender equality in the country and close cooperation with the United Nations in this regard.

Research on gender equality in a number of developed countries, which are much closer to gender equality, gave really good results: increased life expectancy, decreased the frequency of depression cases and level of crime and just made more people subjectively happy.


Aksoltan Atayeva

Permanent Representative 

Of Turkmenistan to the UN

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