Over the past five years, issues of increasing the role of women in society in the country have been raised to the level of state policy, and 25 legislative acts have been adopted in this area. Various programs to support women are being implemented with the assistance of international organizations.
In the Senate of the Oliy Majlis, the Committee on Women and Gender Equality and Commission on Ensuring Gender Equality, headed by the chairperson of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis, have been established.
For the first time in the history of Uzbekistan, the number of women in the national parliament has been brought to a level corresponding to UN recommendations. Women make up 44 percent of the total membership of political parties, occupy 27 percent of leadership positions, in the field of higher education women make up 40 percent of the total number of employees and in the field of entrepreneurship account for 35 percent. Women are widely involved in the information and communication, innovation, energy and engineering sectors.
In order to provide social and economic support to women and casework with them, a “women’s notebooks” system has been introduced. There is a system to cover the cost of education for needy girls who have lost both parents or one of them as well as single women who do not have a breadwinner, and the number of grants for female students from low-income families when entering higher educational institutions has been doubled.
At the same time, there are issues that require serious attention in order to increase the participation of women in certain socioeconomic spheres.
According to a study conducted by the World Bank in 2022, based on the Women, Business and the Law index that assesses the impact of laws and regulations in eight areas affecting women’s participation in economic life, such as freedom of movement, jobs, wages, marriages, parenting, entrepreneurship, property management and pensions, Uzbekistan ranked 127th with a score of 70.6 points. At the same time, Uzbekistan lags behind Tajikistan, which scored 78.8 points, and Kyrgyzstan, which received 76.9 points, while it edges out Kazakhstan, with 69.4 points.
Low values in the index for Uzbekistan are observed in such indicators as wages (25 out of 100), jobs (50), pensions (50) and parenthood (60).
It should be noted that Uzbekistan, in addition to its Action Strategy, where the priority areas were to increase the sociopolitical and economic activity of women, strengthen their role in governing the state and society, ensure the employment of women, widely involve them in entrepreneurial activities and further strengthen the foundations of the family, the Development Strategy of New Uzbekistan for 2022-2026 defines strategic goals to support women and further increase their activity in society.
To achieve this goal in the Development Strategy, the decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On measures to further accelerate work on systemic support for families and women” No. UP-87, issued earlier this year, approved the national program to increase the activity of women in all spheres of economic, political and social life of the country for 2022-2026.
The innovations in this document are the introduction of the practice of paying women employed in the private sector, pregnancy and childbirth benefits at the expense of the state budget, the provision of interest-free educational loans for a period of seven years, the allocation of an additional 500 places in universities to admit women with priority, 300 doctoral positions in state research institutes and universities for women, payment of educational contracts from the budget for 2,100 female students from families in need of social protection as well as the provision of subsidies and tax incentives for entrepreneurial activities.
In turn, the implementation of this national program will ensure the strengthening of the system of social protections of women, create the necessary conditions for girls to receive a full education and form them into specialists in popular specialties, increase the socioeconomic activity and scientific potential of women and strengthen their role in society for ensuring gender equality.
All this will improve the rating of Uzbekistan in the Women, Business and the Law index annually determined by the World Bank and will ensure that Uzbekistan fulfills the obligations adopted on the goals and targets in the field of sustainable development for the period up to 2030, where “Ensuring gender equality and empowering all women” is one of the priority goals.
Jamshid Sharipov is the head of the Department of Development Strategy Center. -- Ed.
By Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org