Uzbekistan is a Country Where Women are Revered

Uzbek women

In different historical periods, attitudes towards women were also different, but Uzbek women never lost their national identity. They raised many great personalities and thinkers who made a huge contribution to human development. The names of the mothers of Ibn Sina – Sitorabonu, Imam Bukhari – Fatimabegim, Khoja Bahauddin Naqshband – Bibi Orifabegim – remained in history.

Such famous women as Tumaris, Saroimulkhonim, Gavharshodbegim, Nodirabegim, Uvaysi, Anbarotin had no equal in government, military affairs, education and upbringing, and literature. They carried out a tremendous amount of work in the name of development.

Today we have the opportunity to receive more detailed information about the activities of women educators who stood shoulder to shoulder with the Jadids who showed selflessness in the name of freedom and progress of the nation. These are Khairiniso Majidkhonova, Maryam Sultonmurodova, Khadicha Aliyeva, Dilorom Yusupova and dozens of other women. They fought, putting their lives at risk.

Legal scholars Khadicha Suleymanova, Mamlakat Vosikova, Halima Mukhitdinova made a huge contribution to the development of the legal field, creating a school of law and a rich scientific heritage, which is still used today in training personnel in this area.

The works of Zulfiya and Halima Khudayberdieva, who glorified in their work the dreams and desires of the fairer sex, their love and devotion to the Motherland, still inspire girls to conquer high levels.

Currently, thanks to the care of the President, the country is creating ample opportunities for women aimed at increasing their authority in society, fully realizing their high intellectual potential, and educating a new generation capable of worthy continuing the work of hardworking, smart, courageous women.

Ensuring women’s equality in solving political and socio-economic problems is one of the important factors for the stable development of countries, maintaining peace and tranquility on the planet. This issue is becoming increasingly important at a time when the global economic and environmental crisis continues, when conflicts between states, religions and nations have an impact on the standard of living of the population, from which women and children suffer.

In recent years, priority tasks in the national policy of Uzbekistan have been identified to ensure the legal rights and interests of women, who make up almost half of the country’s population, strengthening the family, increasing the role and status of compatriots in society, realizing their abilities and talents, achieving gender equality, which are being consistently implemented.

A legal and material base has been created aimed at supporting women in all areas. In particular, a number of international documents have been ratified, and the fundamentals of national legislation have been improved. More than 30 legal documents have been developed aimed at strengthening the protection of women’s rights, improving living conditions, creating ample opportunities for education and unlocking potential. 4 laws, about 10 decrees and resolutions of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, 14 resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers were adopted.

A feature of the state policy in the country is that the President has clearly defined the main directions of tasks carried out in this area, active work is underway based on the principle “Not a single woman in Uzbekistan will be left without the attention of the state and society . ” The results of adopted programs and projects and the identified tasks on this issue help ensure the honor and dignity of women and improve their well-being.

By the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On measures to further strengthen guarantees of labor rights and support women’s entrepreneurial activities” dated March 7, 2019, a Commission on Gender Equality was created.

Its main objectives are the creation of equal opportunities in the field of rights and freedoms in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, monitoring work to ensure the interests of women, developing appropriate measures to eliminate existing problems and coordinating work on their implementation.

Over the past short time, as part of the implementation of these documents, a number of measures have been taken to ensure gender equality in the country and improve living conditions for women, comprehensive support and development of the family institution, the eradication of all forms of discrimination against women’s rights, and the improvement of their legal culture.

The Labor Code, adopted in the new edition, includes norms on such issues as equality of labor rights of women and men, prohibition of discrimination in the field of labor, guarantees of labor rights and fulfillment of labor duties, especially equal pay for men and women.

Attention is paid to increasing the activity of women in political life. Amendments have been made to the Electoral Code, which provide for an increase in the number of women from 30 to 40 percent of the total number of parliamentary candidates nominated by a political party.

In recent years, women’s participation in decision-making has increased markedly. In the field of entrepreneurship this figure reached 37, in political parties – 46, in higher education – 48 percent. A procedure has been introduced under which in all government bodies and organizations, as well as in organizations where the state share in the authorized capital is 50 percent or more, in organizations included in their composition, at least one deputy head must be appointed from among women.

Currently, more than two thousand women work in leadership positions. Only 241 women work in responsible positions at the republican and local levels. Of these, 2 are heads (minister, chairman of the committee), 9 are deputy heads (deputy ministers, chairman and director), 14 are deputy chairmen of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, deputy khokims of regions and the city of Tashkent, 4 are khokims of districts (cities) and 212 – deputy khokims of districts (cities).

The World Bank recently published its annual report “Women, Business and the Law”. It assesses global progress towards gender equality in the legal sphere, the document contains an index assessing the situation of women in 190 countries. The compilers of the rating included Uzbekistan among the five countries that have achieved the greatest success. It was especially noted that since October 2022, the country has implemented four important legal reforms that have improved the situation of women.

Our educational ancestors said: “By educating mothers, we educate the nation . ” They sought to ensure that Uzbek women received an education. During a historically difficult period, a group of Uzbek girls were sent to Germany to study with the support of representatives of the intelligentsia.

Today the dreams of the Jadids are coming true. Work on radically reforming all stages of lifelong education, introducing the latest advanced technologies into the educational process and increasing the level of professionalism of teachers is aimed at training competitive personnel with modern knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as professions that are in great demand in the labor market.

In the process of these reforms, special attention is paid to women’s education in order not only to solve existing issues to ensure their rights and interests, but also to prevent problems that may arise in the future.

Today, our life includes the criterion: “Giving knowledge to women means making society literate, enlightened and virtuous . ” All conditions have been created for women and girls who want to acquire knowledge and a profession, and engage in science. They are allocated separate quotas, the contract is paid for at the expense of the State budget, and preferential loans are provided. Such care increased the girls’ desire to gain knowledge and the desire to take a worthy place in society. Currently, among students of higher educational institutions there are 598 thousand girls and women (49.8 percent). Compared to 2017, this figure increased by 12 percent.

It is appropriate to note another positive trend – women are becoming more interested in applied and exact sciences. Among students studying in 2022-2024, an analysis of indicators in the areas of STEAM education was carried out. It turned out that the number of female students studying physics is 64 percent. An increase in the number of representatives of the fair sex was also observed in such areas of education as mathematics (60 percent), services (34 percent), agriculture (36 percent), and manufacturing (32 percent).

In January of this year, our delegation, together with representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, participated in the international forum “New Uzbekistan – new opportunities, social partnership for development . ” We agreed on important areas of cooperation within the framework of the implementation of the Development Strategy of New Uzbekistan and signed a memorandum. The results achieved in the country will serve as an important factor in the further development of innovative and creative activities of our women in areas related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the transition to a green economy, and the environment. These issues are one of the main areas of cooperation with this international financial organization.

Another important area in the field of social support for women is training women and girls who do not have permanent jobs in professions through which they can be employed.

To this end, the Presidential Decree “On additional measures to improve the system of training women in professions and entrepreneurship”, adopted in 2022, specifically defines all organizational and financial issues related to this process, including the employment of compatriots who have completed the courses.

In 2023, in the areas of employment and poverty reduction departments, 77.9 thousand women were trained in 75 professions. If we consider that this figure in 2017 was only 4.2 thousand, then it is not difficult to understand how this process has accelerated and what a great need there was for it. Growth is manifested not only in numbers, but also in efficiency. Employment was provided for 71.9 thousand women who completed such courses. 3.8 thousand women with disabilities were trained in professions. They were paid 4.8 billion soums in incentive payments at the expense of the State Employment Promotion Fund during their studies. Over the past 7-8 years, employment has been provided to more than 1 million 339 thousand women, over 233 thousand have been issued loans in the amount of 4.7 trillion soums. The share of entrepreneurs increased from 21 percent in 2017 to 37 percent.

It has been established that starting from this academic year, girls who wish to obtain a specialty in the fields of services, construction, transport, utilities, and agriculture will study in colleges and technical schools in the relevant field on the basis of a state grant. In strengthening women’s social activity and expanding their participation in all sectors, serious attention is paid to increasing knowledge in information and communication technologies. Among students studying ICT this year, girls and women make up 45 percent. In 205 training centers of the IT-Women.Uz project located in the regions, more than 4,500 local residents successfully completed courses in information technology.

It is gratifying that according to the results of the assessment in the rating indicator for eliminating the digital gender gap throughout Uzbekistan, conducted in 2022 jointly with the United Nations Development Program and the International Telecommunication Union, the number of women actively using digital technologies was 87 percent.

This year, by decree of the President, another direction has been introduced for girls in the competition for the State Prize named after Zulfiya. Now gifted girls who have achieved special achievements in the field of information technology can become winners of this prestigious award.

The recently adopted State Program for the implementation of the Uzbekistan-2030 Strategy in the “Year of Support for Youth and Business” sets the task of launching the “Girls Academy” platform to train young women and girls in such modern professions as entrepreneurship, marketing, graphic design, through which organize competitions, projects, training camps and internships for them. As a result of such attention and care, the number of areas where residents of Uzbekistan can carry out activities will further expand. Their employment opportunities will also improve markedly.

In the current difficult times, when competition on a global scale is intensifying, the President has identified an important task – modernization and renewal of the country based on the achievements of science and high technology. To this end, consistent reforms are being carried out. In particular, the system of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan has been restored and improved.

The head of state pays special attention to the issue of effectively using the potential of women in the development of science , emphasizing that he highly values ​​women scientists and is ready to support them as much as necessary. As practical confirmation of this, we can name a number of measures taken to increase the interest of educated, talented women in science and their preparation for postgraduate education.

Until recently, it was rare for female students to continue their studies at the master’s level for objective and subjective reasons. Starting from 2022, the practice of paying for the contract of female students studying for a master’s degree from the State Budget has been launched. 200 billion soums will be allocated annually for these purposes. In the 2022/2023 academic year, contracts for 14,110 female students in the amount of 152.9 billion soums were paid from the State Budget.

In the 2018/2019 academic year there were 4,488 master’s students; in the 2022/2023 academic year their number reached 17,122. What does this mean? Firstly, they will enter the current labor market as mature, competitive specialists with some practical experience. Secondly, they will become scientific personnel with the potential to engage in research activities in the future.

Caring for women does not end here and will continue consistently. In particular, 48 percent, or 2,374 admission quotas allocated for postgraduate education, were allocated to women. Currently, 6,217 female applicants are conducting research work in higher educational institutions and scientific organizations.

The President said that we have set ourselves a great goal – to form the foundation of the third Renaissance in our country. The head of state emphasized that on this glorious path we rely primarily on the sacred values ​​of family and the spirituality of mothers . From these words, we must deeply understand the purpose for which the above opportunities are created, the conditions, what results are expected and, most importantly, what responsibility they place on us.

In recent years, consistent reforms have been carried out to strengthen social protection of the population, expand the scope and types of social services that the state provides to citizens. The new version of the Constitution states that Uzbekistan is a social state. By the Presidential Decree “On a set of measures to provide high-quality social services and assistance to the population, as well as establishing a system for their effective control” dated June 1, 2023, the National Social Protection Agency under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan was created.

Through this social protection system, which covers 250 types of services, assistance is provided to disabled and lonely elderly people, persons with disabilities and other needy categories of the population. Fair, targeted and transparent organization of social assistance is facilitated by the establishment of a completely new and unique mechanism: “iron notebook”, “women’s notebook”, “youth notebook”.

In particular, the “iron notebook”, launched with the aim of providing socio-legal, psychological assistance to women in difficult situations and their targeted support , serves as an important factor in helping needy families and women who cannot solve their problems on their own. As a result of this noble movement, many residents of all regions and the capital have received financial assistance to date.

Last year, 224,397 women who lost their breadwinner and were in need of support were provided with financial assistance in the amount of 225.1 billion soums. At the same time, 3,841 women had their housing renovated, 8,656 were paid rent in the amount of 11.7 billion soums, and 42.9 billion soums were spent to provide 1,481 women with affordable housing.

Last year alone, the problems of 993,386 compatriots included in the “iron notebook” were resolved, and more than 1.2 trillion soums were spent for these purposes from all sources.

Seeing the joy on the faces of women who received financial assistance, we are once again convinced how the results of the reforms carried out under the leadership of the President in the name of improving the lives of the people are reflected in practice.

“During a trip to the Andijan region, the head of state visited our enterprise,” said Ismigul Yuldosheva, a seamstress at the Asaka Textile enterprise. “I was especially inspired by the President’s words about exalting the honor and dignity of women. There is peace in the family, I am confident in the future. Is there any greater happiness for a woman?

When it comes to ensuring the rights and legitimate interests of women in society, it should be emphasized that the pressing issue is counteracting oppression and violence against them . Until recently, this issue was not discussed, no systematic work was carried out to solve it, and as a result, problems accumulated over the years.

In recent years, along with issues of concern to the population, this topic has also been put on the agenda. A legal framework has been created to eliminate all its manifestations, work is underway to create intransigence in society towards such cases, which is already producing results.

In 2021-2022, law enforcement agencies received more than 72 thousand complaints regarding cases of harassment and violence against women and girls. It’s time to listen to the suffering and pain of a hopeless girl and woman who finds herself in such a difficult situation .

Until today, the legislation of Uzbekistan did not have a separate norm holding people accountable for cases of domestic violence. On April 11, 2023, the Law “On amendments and additions to certain legislative acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan in connection with further improvement of the system of reliable protection of the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of women and children” was adopted. According to it, the concepts of “family (domestic) violence”, “persecution”, “sexual harassment” are introduced into the relevant legal acts, and administrative and criminal liability for such offenses is defined.

It has been established that persons who have committed sexual violence, including against minors, are not subject to mitigating measures provided for in the legislation, parole from punishment, replacement of punishment with a milder one, release from punishment in connection with reconciliation.

Courts have been given the power to extend the validity of a protective order, which provides state protection to the victim from persecution and violence, from 30 days to 1 year. The law has introduced a number of amendments and additions aimed at preventing persecution and violence against women and preventing humiliation of their honor and dignity.

Passing laws is good. Another important aspect of the issue is that they are implemented. For this purpose, a road map has been developed that covers all measures to ensure the implementation of this law. Working groups and groups are being formed in the republic, regions, and districts to clarify it. The necessary legal, psychological and practical assistance is organized.

The President, at a video conference meeting dedicated to the priority tasks of further expanding the coverage of social protection services, noted that in recent years the country has significantly strengthened the system for protecting women from violence and persecution, but such cases still occur. Not all injured women and children are covered by rehabilitation. Therefore, a separate system will be created at the mahalla level. It has been determined that a register of women who find themselves in such a situation will be compiled. They will be provided with prompt comprehensive services in the mahalla. Also, 24-hour rooms will be opened in district hospitals to provide medical and psychological assistance to victims of violence. In this process, cooperation between representatives of the “makhalla seven” and residents is of great importance.

Protecting the rights and interests of women, ensuring their active participation in all spheres of life of the state and society are an urgent task not only in our country, but throughout the world.

The initiatives of the head of our state, calling on the women of the planet for solidarity in the name of peace and progress, aimed at finding a reasonable solution to problems of a global scale that concern everyone equally, find a warm response in the world community.

Within the framework of the meetings of the Dialogue of Women Leaders of Central Asian Countries, the summit of women leaders of parliaments of member states of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, at the meetings of the Women’s Forum of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, we are identifying important measures for the participation of women in public administration, preventive diplomacy, environmental protection, entrepreneurship and business , culture, education, science, art, gender equality, in general in the field of sustainable development, we turn them into reality. Events with the participation of authoritative international organizations are held in our country at a high level. This is an example of the fact that the reforms being carried out in Uzbekistan to develop parliamentarism, ensure human rights and in the field of democratization of society, as well as their results, are receiving worthy assessment from the world community.

The extent to which gender equality is ensured in any country is also determined by the place women occupy at the top levels of government. The fact that they have sufficient representation in government bodies that make important decisions related to the fate of the country contributes to the fact that their interests are effectively promoted and reflected in relevant documents. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Uzbekistan ranks 45th among 180 member states in terms of these indicators. Our country’s place in the World Bank’s Women, Business and Law Index has improved. Uzbekistan is among 27 states that have implemented important reforms in the field of women’s rights and gender equality.

Another important question. Today, more than ever, one of the important foundations of the strength of society and the stability of the state is relevant – this is increasing the potential of the family in the field of education and upbringing, preserving family values ​​in society, and improving the spiritual and moral environment.

Competition is intensifying in the international arena, and contradictions between states seeking to maintain their influence in the world are becoming increasingly acute. Ideological and spiritual threats are also intensifying in the information field. In such a difficult situation, educating young people in the spirit of patriotism, caring for national values ​​and traditions, introducing their essence into the consciousness of our children are important factors in ensuring the unity of the nation, people, as well as preserving national identity.

At an extended meeting of the Republican Council on Spirituality and Education, the head of our state once again called on all of us, especially representatives of the intelligentsia, to be vigilant: 

“Are we ready in today’s difficult conditions for competition in the ideological sphere? Does the education of the younger generation meet the complex conditions of the time? These are not easy questions. These are questions that make you think seriously, that make you worry. If we want to live in this world with the names “Uzbek”, “Uzbekistani”, “Uzbekistan”, we must find answers to these questions today and begin practical actions to solve them today. Tomorrow it will be too late . “

These words apply primarily to mothers, whose role in the family and whose influence on the upbringing of children is great, as famous thinkers of the East spoke about. They emphasized that the atmosphere in the family, the behavior of children, their attitude towards parents and people around them are formed precisely under the influence of the mother’s knowledge and spirituality. Thinkers emphasized: “A smart woman is the foundation of a family; she raises her children not only for her era, but also for the future.”

In order to improve the spiritual situation in the family and educate in the spirit of national values, social structures consisting of women with rich life experience have been created. The activities of the Okila Ayollar movement have been established by a resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers . This structure conducts local outreach and propaganda work to create a new spiritual space, strengthen families, ensure the participation of mothers in building an enlightened society, increase women’s sense of ownership of the reforms carried out in the country, and explain the essence and significance of adopted legislative acts.

As the head of state emphasized, it is difficult to stop threats to our national identity, statehood and spirituality, which are organized from the outside and from time to time manifest themselves within the country. It is difficult to curb approaches that contradict our Constitution and our laws, especially in the current conditions of information openness. We are obliged to fight against them only with the help of education and our high spirituality. Everyone must deeply understand that the struggle for the independence of the Motherland, for the fate of the nation, is constant. And we must always be ready for it.

Public structures such as the Republican Commission on Increasing the Role of Women in Society, Gender Equality and Family, the Research Institute of Family and Gender, the Society of Women Scientists, the Okila Ayollar movement, the Dialogue of Women Leaders of Uzbekistan should join forces in this direction with the Republican Council for Spirituality and Education. It is necessary to effectively organize work through mutual coordination and organize spiritual and educational activities on a scientific basis. We must not forget the great status accorded to the mother – “the educator of generations.” The sacred duty of mothers is to strengthen in the minds of our children the concept put forward by the President: 

“Every citizen of Uzbekistan must consider it his life duty to ensure the unity of our people, the integrity of the country. Only united – we are a single people, only together – we are a strong country!” .