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11 May 2021 - KAZAKHSTAN - 80,000 copies of pre-marital counselling  materials  for  couples wanting to marry  have been disseminated across Mosques of all regions of Kazakhstan. The materials will guide couples in creating a family in accordance with spiritual and family values consistent with the canons of Islam as well as state and international human rights standards. They focus on family values in Islam; promote a culture of non-violence, reproductive rights and reproductive health including family planning, responsible parenthood, the role of men in supporting their wives and children and other topics. The materials have been developed by the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Kazakhstan in partnership with UNFPA and with support from the UK Government.

“Religious leaders are natural agents to advance human rights at the community level, promote reproductive health including family planning, preventing and responding to gender-based violence as well as preventing harmful practices such as early, child and forced marriages and ensuring that believers can enjoy the benefits of safe motherhood,” said UNFPA National Coordinator on Population, Development and Gender Gaziza Moldakulova

According to the 2020 national report “Kazakhstan’s Families”, every third marriage breaks up, every sixth family can’t have children and 62% of parents are not involved in the upbringing of their children. Violence in the family was quoted by the respondents of the same survey as the biggest factor in the decision to apply for a divorce.

“The materials developed contain important practical information about mutual support and responsibility that both men and women should assume when deciding to get married in Islam. Knowledge of what the principles of non-violence, family planning, responsible parenthood and other vital areas are in Islam and how these are based on key human rights principles embedded in national and international documents will help couples to form a union where love, mutual respect and understanding play a central role,” said Giulia Vallese, UNFPA Representative for Kazakhstan and Country Director for Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan.

The materials will be given to the couples marrying in the mosques.  

“We often see situations where an incorrect interpretation of the canons of Islam occurs. This takes place in family life, when people are unaware of the fact that according to the canons of Islam there is no place for violence in a family and that starting a family and having children requires proper planning, - said Aisha, chief specialist of the spiritual and awareness-raising portal, student of Russian Islamic University and co-author of the publication.  - Many people when getting married don’t even know about their rights. In this publication we tried to put together all the correct information on many issues in a concise but understandable way,” she said.

For more information, please contact Dina Teltayeva via email or tel.: 8701 7654010.