Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Talks share corporate best practices on women’s empowerment in Kazakhstan

According to the UN Women, at a networking event in Almaty on November 4, organized by UN Women Kazakhstan in partnership with the AlmaU University, representatives of the private sector shared national and global best practices on promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in business and adhering to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs).

“We stand for equal opportunities and have zero tolerance for any discrimination against our employees, including discrimination based on gender,” said Adil Mukhamedjanov, Deputy Chairman of Baiterek, at the WEPs Talks event. He stated that women make up 20% of the Board of Directors and 13% of the Management Board of the holding and its subsidiaries.

Among Schneider Electric’s Kazakhstan operations, the number of women employees has almost doubled in the past seven years, reaching 50 people – one-third of the company’s staff across the country.

Last year, Kazakhstan updated its Family and Gender Policy, and one of the objectives became raising women’s participation at the decision-making level, including the quasi-state sector, to 30 per cent by 2030. These positive changes are the result of joint efforts by the National Commission for Women, Family and Demographic Policy under the Presidency, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, and the Ministry of Information and Social Development, together with civil society organizations, all supported by UN Women.

More than 8,000 Kazakhstani women have visited the Centers for Women’s Entrepreneurship Development (CWED) since the beginning of this year, with half of them receiving training to start their businesses. Turkestan’s first centre opened last year. There are now 17 of them throughout Kazakhstan.

“Nineteen per cent of our women applicants live in rural areas. Women from socially vulnerable categories make up 30 per cent of our service recipients, and a majority of them are mothers with many children,” said Nazira Dzhakipbayeva, Head of the CWEDs operated by the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs.

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