The Center for Economic Research and Reforms (CERR) analyzed the current gender equality situation in Uzbekistan and hosted an open platform in the "Open Space" format to discuss gender equality problems in Uzbekistan
In particular, they studied the reports of international organizations such as UNDP, ADB, World Bank, EBRD and others, dedicated to gender equality in Uzbekistan.
In addition, the experience of other countries facing similar problems was studied in terms of determining the most effective mechanisms for solving the range of gender equality problems.
As a result, a list of problems and corresponding proposals for their solution were compiled in such topical areas as:
- expanding opportunities for women to participate in public life;
- expanding opportunities for women to participate in education;
- expanding opportunities for women to participate in business;
- expanding opportunities for women to participate in the civil service.
In this regard, on December 20 of this year, CERR organized an open discussion of gender equality issues in Uzbekistan in the format of the Open Space platform.
The event was attended by representatives of international organizations (UNDP, EBRD, UNFPA, etc.), the Central Bank, the private sector (activists, doctoral students), as well as the media.
Addressing the participants of the open platform, Obid Khakimov, director of the Center for Economic Research and Reforms noted the development of a huge human potential in Uzbekistan, which is reflected as a priority direction in today's large-scale reforms of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
Speaking about the importance of women's work, he raised one of the main questions on the agenda: “What needs to be done so that a woman in Uzbekistan does not face a choice - family or work? What reforms do we need today? "
CERR studies show that if the total number of employed and self-employed women increases by 5%, per capita income will increase by 2.5%. At the same time, expanding entrepreneurship opportunities for women will increase GDP per capita by 3%, while expanding opportunities for self-employed women, this indicator will increase by 1.3%.
Commenting on the results of the study, Obid Khakimov emphasized, “expanding women’s access to education and providing them with job opportunities are not only a social issue but also an economic one,”.
Further, the division head of CERR, Bakhtishod Khamidov made a presentation on the draft program for empowering women for 2022.
“Problems of gender equality are closely interconnected with such global problems as poverty, inequality, gene pool, human capital, human rights, etc. Therefore, the solution of one problem leads to the solution of the accompanying acute problems”, - addressing the participants, the research coordinator B.Khamidov.
During the presentation, such problems of the gender issue in Uzbekistan as formal institutions (problems in legislation and enforcement), informal institutions (problems in the minds of people, transformation of the institution of the family, religion, the fulfillment of the religious responsibilities of husbands) were raised.The risks (interference and non-interference) of legislative regulation of relations between women and men were listed.
A lively discussion and deliberation of a number of proposals for improving the status of women in society took place. Participants discussed the results of research on gender in Uzbekistan and advanced foreign experience.
The stimulation of the participation of the private sector and NGOs in solving problems of gender equality was separately noted.
Dildora Tadjibayeva, a coordinator for government relations at Central Asian Program “Women in Business” of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, emphasized the need of introducing gender oriented regulatory impact assessment system. Dildora Tadjibayeva also emphasized on developing and implementing sectoral strategies with gender mainstreaming, creating a network of gender focal points in each ministry and strengthening gender statistics, as well as seeking active involvement of the private sector to increase the representation of women in non-traditional sectors of economy.
In her speech, she spoke about the launch of the EBRD's program together with the Central Bank to promote gender diversity in the banking sector.
“To eliminate gender stereotypes, it is necessary to introduce gender education starting with the preschool education system,” said the EBRD expert.
Activist and public figure Aziza Umarova highlighted several important issues that were not mentioned in the program.
Among them, the most acute issue is the impact of labor migration of men on the remaining women with children, the lack of a systemic mechanism for overcoming the crisis for women.
Additionally , the activist suggested creating a ministry of social protection, with professional social workers, as well as introducing a gender assessment of funds allocated by the state, but for all state programs. For this, it is advisable to create a gender department under the Ministry of Finance, introduce gender expertise of adopted legislative acts, and gender mainstreaming of the budget.
As an example among state bodies on gender mainstreaming in terms of placing women in senior positions, Umarova called the Ministry of Justice “the champion”.
Dilfuza Abulhasan, Project Manager for the Empowerment of Women of UNDP in Uzbekistan, raised the issue of increasing the role of women in public administration. Among the proposals were the creation of compulsory courses on gender equality for men in leadership positions.
The UNDP expert also suggested spreading the image of successful girls and women in STEAM spheres (ed. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics), through the media in order to encourage girls in these spheres to create a special award for girls in the exact sciences, such like IT, technology, mathematics, etc.
The representative of the Central Bank Guzal Rakhimova noted that the society has an incorrect interpretation of the concept of "gender equality" and, as a result, a prejudiced attitude towards everything connected with this concept.
Rakhimova proposed to conduct educational work in this direction, through the media, makhalla, in the circle of departments and enterprises.
“It is necessary through social projects in the media to widely disseminate the cult of a modern economically, socially, politically active woman, who can serve as an object of imitation for many women and girls in our country,” added UWED doctoral student Aziza Rajabova.
As start-up experience, Ganieva Dilora, gender program specialist for UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund, suggested disseminating materials based on a study package on gender equality, reproductive health, developed for religious educational institutions, which can also be used among the general public, qualifications and knowledge of imams, mahalla employees and the general population
Associate professor of TSUL, Ph.D. in legal sciences, specialist in gender equality, Kamola Aliyeva proposed for each organization, in which the number of employees is at least 25-30 people, to develop rules and policies to combat gender discrimination in recruitment and harassment in the workplace.
“Also, in order to ensure the full implementation of this document, the concept of “harassment ” should be introduced into the legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan and administrative and criminal liability for the commission of this crime should be introduced,” Kamola Aliyeva suggested.
CERR, Public Relations Service