The Republic of Kazakhstan is a young, sovereign state that has proclaimed the main values of social harmony and political stability, economic development for the benefit of all the people, and the solution of the most important issues of state life by democratic methods.

Since Kazakhstan gained sovereignty, more than 300 thousand jobs and 1,250 new enterprises have been created in the country. More than 100 countries are consumers of Kazakh products. In recent years, the production of more than 500 types of products has been mastered, and about 50 new products have been exported.

The principles of the labor legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan are: inadmissibility of restrictions on human and civil rights in the field of labor; freedom of labor; prohibition of discrimination in the field of labor, forced labor and the worst forms of child labor; ensuring the right to working conditions that meet the requirements of safety and hygiene; priority of the life and health of the employee; ensuring the right to remuneration for work not lower than the minimum wage; ensuring the right to rest; equality of rights and opportunities for employees; ensuring the right of employees and employers to unite to protect their rights and interests; state assistance in strengthening and developing social partnership; state regulation of occupational safety and health issues.

Of course, during the period of independence, Kazakhstan has made significant progress in the field of labor law. Approaches to employment and working conditions have changed significantly. More and more employers evaluate an employee by professional qualities, and the number of employees hired “in their own way” or through corruption is decreasing. However, there is a lot of work ahead to eliminate unscrupulous employers and organizations represented in the labor market.

Since gaining sovereignty, Kazakhstan has step by step ratified international conventions and covenants of the International Labour Organization and the United Nations, such as the ILO Conventions “On Discrimination in Employment and Occupation”, “On Equal Treatment and Equal Opportunities for Men and Women Workers: Workers with Family Responsibilities”, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the UN Millennium Declaration, the Declaration” Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ” and others. Local regulations were also adopted in the field of gender policy and equal access to work for all. One of the goals of the gender policy is called “achieving equal rights, duties and opportunities for men and women in all spheres of society and overcoming all forms and manifestations of discrimination on the basis of gender”.

In Kazakhstan, state bodies and public organizations are quite actively cooperating, thanks to which the Law “On State Guarantees of Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for Men and Women in Kazakhstan”was adopted in 2009. This Law guarantees equal rights and opportunities in the field of work: equal access to vacant jobs and the conclusion of an employment contract. According to paragraphs 4 and 5 of Article 7 of the Law, the central executive bodies in the field of ensuring equal rights and equal opportunities for men and women promote the observance of gender equality in personnel matters, as well as consider citizens ‘ appeals concerning family issues, non-observance of equality of men and women.

However, at the same time, a part of the population notes gender inequality in employment, mainly different wages and the division of professions into men and women. Trends lead to a decrease in the above indicators. Since 2017, job ads are not allowed to indicate the gender of a potential employee, and some organizations have even paid fines for the violation.

Here are some statistics for a clearer picture. Thus, according to the data of 2020, the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan is represented by 33 women, in the Mazhilis 26% of the total number of deputies. In Maslikhat, just over 20% are women. Since 2020, a 30% quota in the electoral lists of political parties has been introduced for young people under 29 and women. During the Nur-Otan party primaries and subsequent elections, we saw this bill in action, it gave more opportunities for young people and women to participate in the political life of the country. Nevertheless, the number of men in political positions exceeds the number of women by more than 10 times.

In the Cabinet of Ministers, only 2 out of 23 people are women, these are Aida Balayeva-Minister of Information and Public Development, and Aktoty Raimkulova-Minister of Culture and Sports, 7 members of the Government are under 45 years of age. In 2020, for the first time, a woman was appointed akim of the region: Gulshara Abdykalikova was appointed akim of the Kyzylorda region and holds this post to this day. The position of district akim is currently held by only 3 women out of 219 posts (including the districts of the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Shymkent). 253 women out of 2,416 possible women hold the positions of mayors of rural districts. The average age of akims in Kazakhstan is 47 years. Among the heads of higher educational institutions, the number of men is almost 4 times higher than the number of female rectors. The share of women heads of trade unions and non-governmental organizations is 39.5% in 2021, compared to 34.9% in 2019. The chairmen of the territorial unions of trade unions are 4 women and also 4 women hold the post of the chairman of the branch trade unions.

In our country, according to the regulatory legal acts, all conditions for decent and equal work are created, but, unfortunately, according to statistics, about 60% of the population do not have the necessary knowledge in this area, which is used by employers who are not clean at hand. It is worth noting that many employees are aware of the existence of laws, but how they work and what rights they guarantee. That is why high-quality work is needed to improve the legal knowledge of the population.

At the moment, the problem of finding reserves for the implementation of ambitious state programs, in particular “Kazakhstan 2050”, is acute. The implementation of the program can be more effective in the case of the disclosure and application of human capital. If the approach to labor market policy is not revised now, the implementation of most government programs will be under threat. Trade unions are the most effective platform for solving these problems. For example, the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in its Strategy for the next five-year plan, has set important tasks not only to improve the literacy of the working person, but also to achieve equal working conditions and decent pay in general.

Today, it is necessary to focus on the professional and personal qualities of the employee, regardless of gender, age, nationality and religion. Creating healthy competition, an effective social elevator, and raising the level of knowledge of the legal framework of the employee and employer are the main tasks of independent Kazakhstan.


Sherzod PULATOV-Deputy Director of the Department of Legal and International Cooperation of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan, member of the Scientific and Expert Council

of the APK, member of the Public Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.