UNRCCA AND EUSR HOST THE CENTRAL ASIAN WOMEN LEADERS’ CAUCUS VISIT TO EUROPEAN UNION INSTITUTIONS IN BRUSSELS
On 13-15 November UNRCCA and the office of the European Union Special Representative for Central Asia (EUSR CA) jointly organized the visit of members of the Central Asian Women Leaders’ Caucus (CAWLC) and civil society representatives from Central Asia to the Institutions of European Union in Brussels.
The visit was organized within the framework of the Central Asia Women Leaders’ Caucus (CAWLC) launched in 2020 with the support of UNRCCA and UNDP, to boost political, economic and social participation of women in Central Asia.
Headed by a Deputy Chairperson of the Kazakh Majilis and a Chair of the CAWLC in 2023 Ms. Daniya Espayeva the high-level delegation included prominent members of the Caucus and civil society activists from all five Central Asian States.
With the focus on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, women in innovation and activities to fight gender-based violence, the visit aimed to facilitate exchange of expertise on policy-making and implementation, to foster partnerships between CAWLC and similar networks and civil society organizations in European Union and to promote CAWLC’s international exposure and outreach.
Within the framework of the visit the CAWLC delegation held mutually enriching and inspiring meetings with senior officials and experts from the European External Action Service, European Commission, European Parliament and representatives from the office of the President of the European Council. CAWLC delegation also met with EU Ambassadors of Political and Security Committee, had a brief exchange with the Commissioner for Energy Ms Kadri Simson, met with representatives of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office and European Women's Lobby. The discussions covered a wide spectrum of issues related to implementation of gender equality policies in Central Asia and European Union and explored avenues for the enhanced intra-regional cooperation on these issues. High-level EU officials marked the role of the Caucus in advancing gender equality in Central Asia, strengthening the regional cooperation and also underlined its potential leverage to improve the situation of women and girls rights in neighboring Afghanistan.
The visit included the roundtable on EU-Central Asian cooperation in promoting women empowerment hosted by the Parliamentary Committee on Co-operation with the Countries of Central Asia. The roundtable, featuring presentations by the CAWLC delegation and Members of European Parliament, offered profound analysis and recommendations on policies promoting women’s meaningful political participation, leadership and economic empowerment, as well as co-operation between women parliamentarians from Central Asia and EU on implementation of the Global Women, Peace and Security agenda, as well as advocacy actions on the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan, in particular.
Overall, the visit of the CAWLC members to the EU institutions serves as another example of the platform’s growing prominence and its potential to play a key role in advancing cooperation on gender equality issues both within the region of Central Asia and between Central Asia and other regions and multilateral regional organizations.