UN recommends Turkmenistan to improve situation with women's rights

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On February 19, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women published its findings on the situation in several countries, including Turkmenistan. The experts reviewed state reports on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and presented their recommendations, Azathabar.com reports.

These recommendations were made public a few weeks after the Turkmenistan delegation presented its periodic report during the session in Geneva on February 2. Myahri Byashimova, the head of the Turkmen delegation and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, refuted reports that a dress code exists for women in the country, although daily reports from local official media demonstrate the dress code constraints imposed on Turkmen women.

The committee experts emphasized that Turkmenistan lacks legislation addressing gender-based violence and a comprehensive preventive strategy. They urged authorities to promptly enact laws specifically defining and criminalizing all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence.

The experts also recommended Turkmenistan to develop a strategy to eliminate all forms of gender-based violence and ensure the provision of free legal and medical assistance to victims.

According to the experts, women and girls face pressure to conform to gender stereotypes regarding clothing and appearance in Turkmenistan. They also expressed concern about restrictions on women's rights to travel alone and drive, calling on the authorities to revoke these rules.

Turkmenistan claims that women in the country enjoy all rights provided by Turkmen legislation, and their rights to education, employment, suffrage, and candidacy are not restricted in any way.

However, observers, including civil activists and government critics, argue that numerous obstacles exist in Turkmenistan hindering women from exercising their rights in education, employment, equal income, and participation in the country's political life.

In the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women published on Monday, it is also noted that women make up only 24.8% of the deputies in the Mejlis (lower house), and 27% of the deputies in the Halk Maslahaty.

There is only one woman in the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, and women are still not adequately represented in municipal councils and leadership positions in political parties, as highlighted in the Committee's findings.


February 22, 2024