We need to know

Words

Gender — is a set of cultural characteristics that identifies the social behavior and self-presentation of men and women, as well as their relationships. Gender is different from sex as it is a social characteristic rather than biological.

Gender equality means a society in which women and men are equal in their opportunities, rights and obligations. Both genders should have equal access to education, health care, governance and power. Gender equality also implies equal opportunities for financial independence and fulfillment of personal and professional needs and interests.

Gender-based violence is an act of violence committed on the basis of gender, e.g. violence committed against a woman because she is a woman. Similarly, with men.

Gender-based violence can be physical (beatings, torture), emotional (insults, pressure), sexual (rape, harassment) as well as economic (financial decisions, strict cost control).

Gender stereotypes are ideas held in a society about the characteristics of behavior of men and women. These stereotypes are linked to gender roles and convey them in the society, supporting gender inequality.

Gender role is one of the social roles of a person. It consists of society's expectations of certain behavior from men or women based on their differences. These norms are dictated by gender roles, as well as social and cultural norms existing in the society at the moment.

Reproductive health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes, including childbirth and harmony in the family.

Reproductive rights are the rights of people to make independent decisions about their reproductive health: having children, readiness to parenthood and the right to be informed about these issues.

Child marriage is a union in which at least one of the spouses is underage. Children are not able to give free and informed consent, therefore child marriage violates human rights and in most cases is forced.

Family planning includes information, tools and methods that enable people to address the issues of childbirth, parenthood readiness, and the number of children. It also covers the use of contraceptive methods and fertility treatments.

Watch the videо where sociologist Gulmira Ileuova explains why every third marriage in Kazakhstan ends in divorce.

What are the solutions?

Within the framework of its activities UNFPA offers the following solutions

Adolescent pregnancy

Age-appropriate sexuality education is a rights-based and gender-sensitive approach to sexuality education, whether in or out of school. It should be delivered for several years, providing age-appropriate information that meets the evolving abilities of young people.

Sexuality education includes discussions about family life, relationships, culture and gender roles, as well as human rights, gender equality and risks such as discrimination and sexual violence. It teaches very important safe behavior skills:

  • how to prevent a pregnancy while a girl is not ready for it;
  • how to avoid sexually transmitted infections, including HIV;
  • how to recognize and respond to violence;
  • how to build healthy and equitable relationships;
  • how to be resistant to stress and realize your full potential, as well as many other things.
  • Collectively, sexuality education programs help young people develop self-esteem and life skills that foster critical thinking, clear communication, responsible decision-making and respectful behavior.

Despite the fact that people in Kazakhstan in general have a positive attitude towards contraception, they are practically not aware of the properties of contraceptives. A survey resulted in a rating of the four methods of contraception most known to respondents: male condoms, interrupted intercourse, contraceptive pills for women and intrauterine devices.

Kazakhstanis consider medical workers in healthcare institutions the most reliable and trustworthy source of information on contraceptive methods, and every fourth respondent named Internet sites as a reliable source of information.

Meanwhile, access to information on contraception is key to achieving gender equality. When women and couples have the opportunity to plan and have children, and when women have more opportunities to complete their education, they become more independent in the family and their income improves. This enhances their economic security and the well-being of their families.

Adolescence changes everything - from physiology to a person's emotional and hormonal state. This affects behavior not only in games and sports, but also in sexual life. Adolescents begin to show an interest in each other, fall in love, experience their first romantic feelings, some start having sex.

Thus, adults - parents and teachers - have to provide teenagers with information about the changes in their bodies and safe relationships in an appropriate way. Armed with this knowledge, boys and girls will make a choice in favor of their health.

Adolescents and young people need to be provided with special services that are characterized by accessibility, voluntariness, friendliness and trust.

At the Youth-Friendly Health Centre, services are provided by professional adolescent gynecologists, urologists, andrologists, and psychologists. Here adolescents can get the health care they need, including sexual and reproductive health services; ask questions and receive any necessary information in a language they understand. Meanwhile, their personal and medical information is preserved confidential.

Reproductive health problems

Age-appropriate sexuality education is a rights-based and gender-sensitive approach to sexuality education, whether in or out of school. It should be delivered for several years, providing age-appropriate information that meets the evolving abilities of young people.

Sexuality education includes discussions about family life, relationships, culture and gender roles, as well as human rights, gender equality and risks such as discrimination and sexual violence. It teaches very important safe behavior skills:

  • how to prevent a pregnancy while a girl is not ready for it;
  • how to avoid sexually transmitted infections, including HIV;
  • how to recognize and respond to violence;
  • how to build healthy and equitable relationships;
  • how to be resistant to stress and realize your full potential, as well as many other things.
  • Collectively, sexuality education programs help young people develop self-esteem and life skills that foster critical thinking, clear communication, responsible decision-making and respectful behavior.

Despite the fact that people in Kazakhstan in general have a positive attitude towards contraception, they are practically not aware of the properties of contraceptives. A survey resulted in a rating of the four methods of contraception most known to respondents: male condoms, interrupted intercourse, contraceptive pills for women and intrauterine devices.

Kazakhstanis consider medical workers in healthcare institutions the most reliable and trustworthy source of information on contraceptive methods, and every fourth respondent named Internet sites as a reliable source of information.

Meanwhile, access to information on contraception is key to achieving gender equality. When women and couples have the opportunity to plan and have children, and when women have more opportunities to complete their education, they become more independent in the family and their income improves. This enhances their economic security and the well-being of their families.

Adolescence changes everything - from physiology to a person's emotional and hormonal state. This affects behavior not only in games and sports, but also in sexual life. Adolescents begin to show an interest in each other, fall in love, experience their first romantic feelings, some start having sex.

Thus, adults - parents and teachers - have to provide teenagers with information about the changes in their bodies and safe relationships in an appropriate way. Armed with this knowledge, boys and girls will make a choice in favor of their health.

Adolescents and young people need to be provided with special services that are characterized by accessibility, voluntariness, friendliness and trust.

At the Youth-Friendly Health Centre, services are provided by professional adolescent gynecologists, urologists, andrologists, and psychologists. Here adolescents can get the health care they need, including sexual and reproductive health services; ask questions and receive any necessary information in a language they understand. Meanwhile, their personal and medical information is preserved confidential.

Young persons and women with disabilities are more likely to experience gender-based violence and are unable to access violence response services. They also face barriers that restrict their freedom of action and put them at increased risk of unintended pregnancy, pregnancy complications, violence, exploitation, compulsory treatment and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

How to achieve equality for women and young persons with disabilities

Infertility

Despite the fact that people in Kazakhstan in general have a positive attitude towards contraception, they are practically not aware of the properties of contraceptives. A survey resulted in a rating of the four methods of contraception most known to respondents: male condoms, interrupted intercourse, contraceptive pills for women and intrauterine devices.

Kazakhstanis consider medical workers in healthcare institutions the most reliable and trustworthy source of information on contraceptive methods, and every fourth respondent named Internet sites as a reliable source of information.

Meanwhile, access to information on contraception is key to achieving gender equality. When women and couples have the opportunity to plan and have children, and when women have more opportunities to complete their education, they become more independent in the family and their income improves. This enhances their economic security and the well-being of their families.


Adolescence changes everything - from physiology to a person's emotional and hormonal state. This affects behavior not only in games and sports, but also in sexual life. Adolescents begin to show an interest in each other, fall in love, experience their first romantic feelings, some start having sex.

Thus, adults - parents and teachers - have to provide teenagers with information about the changes in their bodies and safe relationships in an appropriate way. Armed with this knowledge, boys and girls will make a choice in favor of their health.

Adolescents and young people need to be provided with special services that are characterized by accessibility, voluntariness, friendliness and trust.

At the Youth-Friendly Health Centre, services are provided by professional adolescent gynecologists, urologists, andrologists, and psychologists. Here adolescents can get the health care they need, including sexual and reproductive health services; ask questions and receive any necessary information in a language they understand. Meanwhile, their personal and medical information is preserved confidential.

The culture of family planning should be introduced starting from school. Age-appropriate sexuality education is designed to fulfill this function.

Moreover, family planning helps reduce maternal mortality as family planning contributes to the prevention of teenage pregnancy, which is the leading cause of death for adolescent girls aged 15-19 worldwide.

Gender-based violence

Age-appropriate sexuality education is a rights-based and gender-sensitive approach to sexuality education, whether in or out of school. It should be delivered for several years, providing age-appropriate information that meets the evolving abilities of young people.

Sexuality education includes discussions about family life, relationships, culture and gender roles, as well as human rights, gender equality and risks such as discrimination and sexual violence. It teaches very important safe behavior skills:

  • how to prevent a pregnancy while a girl is not ready for it;
  • how to avoid sexually transmitted infections, including HIV;
  • how to recognize and respond to violence;
  • how to build healthy and equitable relationships;
  • how to be resistant to stress and realize your full potential, as well as many other things.
  • Collectively, sexuality education programs help young people develop self-esteem and life skills that foster critical thinking, clear communication, responsible decision-making and respectful behavior.

The multisector response to gender-based violence is a holistic and coordinated approach aimed at harmonizing programs and actions developed and implemented by various institutions in the field of psychological and social well-being, law enforcement (police, prosecutors and justice authorities) and healthcare authorities.

This kind of response to gender-based violence is based on multisector partnership and collaboration and requires a common approach to combating gender-based violence and adherence to the principles and standards defined by the partners involved.

Since the concept of “disabled” in Kazakhstani legislation has not been brought in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it still has a medical rather than a social approach. This is expressed in the fact that the term focuses on physical disorders of the human body rather than barriers that limit the ability of a person with disabilities to participate fully and effectively in social life on a par with others.

Moreover, the use of medical terms with negative connotations (injury, defects) degrades the dignity of people with disabilities and creates an attitude towards them based on a charitable approach rather than a human rights approach.

How to fix the situation?

  • introduce measures for social protection of people with disabilities and measures to support families with members with disabilities;
  • amend the regulations limiting the rights of women with disabilities to maternity;
  • introduce into the legislative acts the concepts of “women and men with disabilities”, “girls and boys with disabilities”;
  • raise awareness and legal literacy of women with disabilities in accessible formats.

Gender inequality

Age-appropriate sexuality education is a rights-based and gender-sensitive approach to sexuality education, whether in or out of school. It should be delivered for several years, providing age-appropriate information that meets the evolving abilities of young people.

Sexuality education includes discussions about family life, relationships, culture and gender roles, as well as human rights, gender equality and risks such as discrimination and sexual violence. It teaches very important safe behavior skills:

  • how to prevent a pregnancy while a girl is not ready for it;
  • how to avoid sexually transmitted infections, including HIV;
  • how to recognize and respond to violence;
  • how to build healthy and equitable relationships;
  • how to be resistant to stress and realize your full potential, as well as many other things.
  • Collectively, sexuality education programs help young people develop self-esteem and life skills that foster critical thinking, clear communication, responsible decision-making and respectful behavior.

UNFPA IN SOCIAL MEDIA

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