Kazakhstan's authorities will formulate a five-year plan paving the way for women to be given a broader role in the nation's political life, President Nursultan Nazarbayev has told a meeting of prominent women.
"I instruct the government, together with the Presidential administration and the national commission for women's affairs, the leadership of the Nur Otan Party, to form a concrete plan effective to 2016 for the promotion of women in taking decisions," the RIA Novosti news agency reported the Kazakh leader as telling a high-level women's congress Saturday in the capital Astana.
Nazarbayev noted that the country has no female regional leaders, while it has just five female deputy heads of regions and three district heads.
The president put this down partly to male resistance against giving managerial responsibility to women.
"Men are preventing the progress of women into managerial positions in key bodies and posts, because it immediately becomes clear that they (women) work better than men," RIA Novosti quoted Nazarbayev as saying.
The Kazakh president was speaking to the First Congress of Women of Kazakhstan, timed to coincide closely with International Women's Day on March 8.
The event, attended by distinguished women from across Kazakhstan, was also dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan's independence from the Soviet Union.
The meeting was held to discuss the state's gender policy and to help boost women's role in socio-political and socio-economic progress of Central Asia's most developed republic.