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9 October 2020, Kazakhstan - On the eve of International Day of the Girl Child, celebrated on October 11, famous Kazakh singer Kaliya, together with UNFPA, are re-launching an updated project for women and girls titled "Kyz tagdyry" - "Her future", accessible here

“Her future” contains important information on healthy lifestyles, health including reproductive health, adolescents’ rights; gender equality, prevention and response to gender-based violence and much more.

Progress for adolescent girls has not kept pace with the realities they face today, and COVID-19 has reinforced many of these gaps. This year, under the theme, “My Voice, Our Equal Future”, we encourage to seize the opportunity to be inspired by what adolescent girls see as the change they want, the solutions - big and small - they are leading and demanding across the globe.

Creators of “Her Future” say that they decided to continue the project which started in 2017 because the issues discussed at that time are still relevant today and should continue to remain high on the agenda.

 “Almost daily I hear about a girl getting pregnant and hiding the pregnancy from her family out of fear. Sometimes the pregnancy is ended, sometimes she delivers and abandons the child or even worse, she throws it away. She didn’t see any way out, she didn’t know how to protect herself, she didn’t know how to prevent and manage a pregnancy. Nor did she know where to go before or after childbirth. Even if there were people who could help her - and there are - she didn’t know where to find them. This is why it is so important to talk about these topics as they matter to adolescents but also to their parents. And also let’s not forget that we should reflect why it is always the girl who gets blamed by society, rarely the boy who is also responsible for the pregnancy - said initiator of the project KALIYA. - We must promote respect for women and girls by changing attitudes and promoting equal treatment of girls and boys. Only equal treatment will lead to true equality. We, as influencers, have a responsibility to raise these issues and challenge deep-seated beliefs. Someone in songs will raise the issue of gender equality and the importance of equal value for boys and girls, others will do it in films or in other such projects. So, together we will contribute to making the world a better place for everyone, regardless of gender.”

Reproductive health, women’s empowerment and gender equality are intertwined, and are necessary for the advancement of society.

A recent survey by UNFPA showed that about a third of adolescents aged 15-19 in Kazakhstan are sexually active. 14.8% of adolescents who had indicated being sexually active said that they had had at least one symptom of STI over the past 12 months; however, over 60% of them had not sought any medical help. 38% of the girls who had indicated being or having been sexually active said that their pregnancy had ended either in an abortion or a miscarriage.

In Kazakhstan, 71% of sexually active adolescent girls aged 15–19 reported not using any contraceptive methods. This has a direct impact on the high rate of unintended pregnancies and adolescent birth rate which remains high in the country compared to many countries in Europe. Meanwhile, affordable modern contraceptives can reduce the total number of abortions, including unsafe abortions. Unsafe abortions increase mortality and contribute to adverse dynamics of reproductive loss.

 “Every adolescent has the right to a safe and successful transition into adulthood and to embrace the opportunities that the future holds. The roles we play are determined by society and culture, not by gender, and can therefore be subject to change. This is why adolescent girls should be given every chance to reach their full potential. This is why "their future" and "her future" matter. This is why every girl should count, - said UNFPA Representative for Kazakhstan and Country Director for Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan Giulia Vallese. – We hope that the “Her Future” project will be a hub for everyone keen to expand their knowledge and contribute to healthy discussions and impacting changes in perceptions and attitudes for women and girls.”

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