Malika Kadirkhanova, Chairperson of the Senate Committee of the OliyMajlis on Women and Gender Equality
At the current stage of reforms in Uzbekistan, reforms to protect the rights and legitimate interests of women, provide social support to women in need, and ensure gender equality continue to occur systematically. The strategy for achieving gender equality in Uzbekistan until 2030 was adopted in order to take these things to a qualitatively new level.
The marriage age for men and women was set at 18, and the list of jobs with unfavorable working conditions, in which women’s labor is prohibited in whole or partially, was abolished. The position of inspector for working with women was introduced in the internal affairs system.
In accordance with the Decree of the Presidentdd. March 7, 2022 “On measures to further accelerate the work on systematic support of family and women”, the national program for increasing the activity of women in all sectors of the country’s economy, as well as political and social life in 2022-2026 was approved. A number of measures aimed at ensuring the social, political and economic rights of women were determined under this document and their practical implementation is being ensured. In particular, a 4 percent quota was allocated for adult girls from families in need of social protection to study at a higher educational institution.
Starting from February 9, 2022, the length of service for women, which includes the period of maternity leave, has been increased from 3 years to 6 years. The period of working experience for children with disabilities since childhood has been extended from 16 to 18 years.
Since September 2022, pregnancy and childbirth allowances have been established for women in private enterprises and organizations at the expense of the state budget. Interest-free education loans were introduced for women studying at higher education institutions, technical schools and colleges, and the procedure for state reimbursement of contract fees of all women studying at the master’s level was established.
The procedure for covering the educational contracts of low-income family members, orphans or female students deprived of parental care without the condition of reimbursement at the expense of additional resources of the local budget was introduced. In addition, the Alimony Fund was established, and in the case of the debtor being brought to criminal liability for evading the financial support of his minor child, the practice of directing the payment of alimony payments to cover the arrears was established.
Reforms aimed at radically increasing the role of women in the socio-political life and business sphere of our country are still in progress. A unique system was created for preparing socially active women to leadership positions, training, and improving their qualifications. As a result, in 2016, the number of women leaders in our country was 7%, by 2020 this figure has increased to 12%, by 2022 to 27%, and among entrepreneurs to 25%.
A single electronic database of promising women candidates working in state bodies and organizations was created, and a reserve list of more than 25,000 women for leadership was created. In 2022, a program to increase the activity of women in public administration was developed with the participation of ministries and agencies, and directed towards the implementation.
Today, at the system of state and public organizations, about 1,400 women are working in leadership positions at the level of republics and regions, and more than 43,000 at the level of districts and cities. 48 or 32% of the 150 deputies elected to the Legislative Chamber, are women. It is notan exaggeration to assert that these results are achieved due to the conditions created for women in the field of politics and management to serve for the future of our country.
The Academy of Public Administration and the State Committee for Family and Women developed a 552-hour “School for Women Leaders” program for training female leaders. As part of the program, 100 active women were trained. Data on 142 female graduates of the Academy during the period of 1996-2021 were compiled and included in the national personnel reserve database. At the same time, a single information system was created to record women victims of harassment and violence. 29 centers, including 1 republican center, 14 regional centers and 14 exemplary inter-district centers for rehabilitation and adaptation of women are operating effectively.