Women's rights are rights that strengthen the socio-economic, civil and political status of women. They are designed to protect women from discrimination based on gender.
Women's rights are one of the fundamental human rights guaranteed by many international treaties, resolutions, declarations and programs of action in the field of human rights. The main international treaty on the rights of women is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and its Optional Protocol. In addition, women's rights are important elements of other UN treaties, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Republic of Uzbekistan pays special attention to ensuring women's rights at all times. Uzbekistan was one of the first countries in Central Asia to accede to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women on 6 May 1995. It has also ratified the Conventions on Maternity Protection, Labor and Occupational Discrimination and other international instruments.
Since Uzbekistan acceded to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, six periodic reports have been submitted to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
Due to consistent legislation and other measures to protect the rights, freedoms and interests of women, they are successfully exercising their rights and freedoms, knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship, education, health, science and socio-political spheres.
Article 46 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan strengthens equality between women and men.
Chapter 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan is entitled "Family" and is dedicated to the protection of the family, motherhood and childhood. In order to prevent early marriages, Article 15 of the Code sets the age of marriage for men and women at eighteen.
National legislation provides reliable guarantees for the protection of women's rights.
Article 78 of the Labor Code prohibits the unlawful refusal to hire pregnant women and women with children under the age of three, respectively, because they are pregnant or have children; Article 84 does not prescribe a preliminary test for the employment of pregnant women, women with children under the age of three, persons sent to work in the minimum number of jobs established for the enterprise (women with children).
The Family Code was supplemented with a provision on the possibility of prepayment of alimony until the child reaches the adult age, including through the transfer of real or movable property or other valuables. In case of divorce, the order of distribution of property guaranteeing the rights of the couple is established.
The Criminal Code and the Code of Administrative Liability set out the penalties for violating the legislation on the age of marriage.
In 2017-2021, a number of normative documents aimed at ensuring and protecting the rights of women were adopted.
In the area of enhancing women's role in the political and social life of the country:
On September 2, 2019, the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On guarantees of equal rights and opportunities for women and men" was adopted. The law defines the concepts of "direct discrimination on the basis of sex" and "indirect discrimination on the basis of gender", introduced mandatory legal examination of normative legal acts and their drafts, conducting gender statistics.
The Commission on Gender Equality has been set up under the leadership of the chairperson of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis.
The Committee on Women and Gender Equality has been set up in the Upper House of Parliament, and the Commission on Family and Women's Affairs has been set up in the Lower House.
A systematic work of the Parliamentary Commission on Monitoring the Implementation of National Sustainable Development Goals and Objectives until 2030 has been established, the fifth goal of the SDG is to achieve gender equality.
The Republican Women's Public Council was established under the supervision of the Senate Speaker. One of its main tasks is to coordinate the implementation of the provisions of the Convention and the Beijing Platform for Action, along with the full support of women.
In 2022, the State Committee for Family and Women of the Republic of Uzbekistan and its territorial divisions were established, and one of its priorities is the full support of women, ensuring gender equality.
The State Targeted Fund for Support of Women was established to provide comprehensive support to women, their active participation in the organization of family and private entrepreneurship, crafts, and the acquisition of knowledge and skills in occupations that are in demand in the labor market today.
The Republican Commission for Systemic Solutions and Social Support of Women has been established, the main task of which is to study the problems of women in the regions, systematically address them, reduce poverty and improve the welfare of the population.
On June 25, 2019, the Electoral Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan was adopted. It enshrines equal suffrage for citizens regardless of gender, race and national origin, language, religion, social origin, beliefs, personal and social status, education, gender and occupation.
In the area of protecting women from violence:
On September 2, 2019, the law “On the protection of women from harassment and violence" was adopted, which regulates relations in the field of protection of women from violence at home, at work, educational institutions. The law broadly describes a number of concepts, such as "sexual violence", "physical violence", "economic violence", "mental violence", "violence", "harassment”.
By the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated May 19, 2021 “On additional measures for the rehabilitation of women suffering from violence” No.5116, the Republican Center for the Rehabilitation and Adaptation of Women, 14 regional centers and 14 district centers with samples and 1146 short-number Call-center, which may appeal to victims of violence was established.
The Regulation on the programs of granting the order of protection to women who suffered from harassment and violence, correction of persons who committed harassment and violence was approved.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has introduced 360 state units for working with women in need of legal and social assistance.
In the area of maternal health:
In order to ensure the comprehensive strengthening of maternal and child health, to create the necessary conditions for the birth and upbringing of a healthy generation, on December 25, 2017 the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan adopted the Resolution "On State Program for Early Detection of Congenital and Hereditary Diseases in 2018-2022" . The Resolution sets tasks, including the further development of the state system for early detection of pathology in pregnant women and newborns, the reduction of disability in children.
On March 11, 2019, the Law "On Reproductive Health of Citizens" was adopted. The law establishes equal rights and opportunities for women and men in the exercise of their reproductive rights, the right to make independent decisions regarding the birth of their children, and guarantees the use of safe and effective technologies.
On October 23, 2019, the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On support for breastfeeding and requirements for food for infants and young children" was adopted. The law defines the main directions of state policy in the field of support of breastfeeding, nutrition of infants and young children, the powers of government agencies.
In the area of labor and employment rights for women:
The ban on women's participation in certain areas or occupations was lifted in accordance with amendments to the Republic of Uzbekistan's Labor Code, and a new list of recommended areas or occupations that adversely affect women's health was approved.
It is illegal to terminate an indefinite-term employment contract, as well as a fixed-term employment contract until the term expires, because women have reached retirement age before the age of 60 or are legally entitled to an old-age pension.
The Women's Entrepreneurship Centers have been established in the form of a business incubator at the expense of the Public Fund for Women and Families, whose main task is to retrain women on maternity leave and in difficult economic situations.
Women who have successfully completed the special training program are eligible for preferential loans with a minimum term of three years, a six-month grace period, and an annual interest rate of eight percent to fund entrepreneurial activities at the expense of the Fund and international organizations.