Since its independence in December 1991, Kazakhstan has benefited from a growing economy, mostly thanks to its natural gas and oil which makes it the wealthiest of the former USSR Central Asian countries. However, Kazakhstan is facing a growing unmet need for SRHR and family planning information and services. In 2010, 11.6% of reproductive age women with regular sexual partners who did not plan to have children in the next 2 years did not use any kind of contraception, while in 1999 the figure was 8.7%.
A 2011 survey indicates that most of the young respondents from the South Kazakhstan region and half the respondents from Almaty region had no understanding of contraception and, usually, did not make informed decisions about family planning in the first years of marriage2. In addition, many SRHR challenges remain in the country e.g. it is difficult for young people to access to SRH services (contraception, abortion, others) 3 and only 19% of adolescents used contraceptives in 20124; the cost of contraception is a major challenge, being equivalent to up to 10% of a monthly salary (2009 data)5; sexuality education still not available at most of the schools; in rural areas especially, there are many taboos and stigma related to sexual life before marriage, and there are also major gender power imbalances ; the level of teenage pregnancy is high (10,2 per 1000 girls6) and modern contraceptives use is 49%.