Article 14. Measures to eliminate discrimination against rural women
Article 15. Equality of women and men before the law
Article 16. Measures to eliminate discrimination against women in matters relating to marriage and family relations
ODIHR Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
WHO World Health Organization
ILO International Labour Organization
NGO Non-governmental non-commercial organization
OSCE Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
CEDAW Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
MDG Millennium Development Goals
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund
UNPFA United Nations Population Fund
1. The Republic of Uzbekistan, after acceding in 1995 to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, assumed the obligations to safeguard equal rights for women and men in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres of the life of the society.
2. Uzbekistan understands that the comprehensive development of the country, the well-being of the populace, the building of a democratic state governed by the rule of law and the formation of a civil society are impossible without women participating as actively as possible, on a par with men, in all spheres. Discrimination against women does not serve the interests of the individual, the society or the State, because it violates the principles of equal rights and respect for human dignity that are called for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose sixtieth anniversary is being celebrated in 2008 by all of progressive mankind. On 1 May 2008, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan adopted the decree on the programme of measures dedicated to the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provided an additional impetus to the intensification of activities in the sphere of human rights, to include women’s rights.
3. The Republic of Uzbekistan condemns discrimination against women, because it prevents women from participating in all spheres of the life of its country on a par with men and it makes it more difficult for women to fully exercise their rights and realize their capabilities. That does not, however, lessen the value of women’s contribution to the well-being of the family and does not diminish the social value of motherhood or the role of women in childbearing and the rearing of children. The State and the society are helping to change the traditional role both of men and women in society and the family.
4. In the first days of its independence, Uzbekistan began to assemble the primary areas of State policy to prevent discrimination against women, namely:
Uzbekistan acceded to the principal international core documents governing the principles and norms of the protection of women’s rights;
on the basis of a thorough consideration of international standards, national legislation was put in place for gender equality and for special measures aimed at protecting motherhood and creating favorable conditions for comprehensive progress for women;
special programmes are being implemented in the country to develop the health care system, protect the health of future mothers and children and raise a healthy generation. During the years of independence, an integral system has been set up for providing State social services for mother and child. One need only note that total State Budget outlays for the social sphere and social services for the public accounted for 51 per cent in 2006, whereas that figure had already risen to 54.3 per cent in 2007.
an institutional base was created for coordinating the activities associated with safeguarding women’s rights at the governmental and local levels;
conditions were created that were suitable for the development of women’s non-governmental organizations, which are an important component of the national system for protecting the rights of women;
put in place was Uzbekistan’s system for reporting to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, which consists in the timely submission by Uzbekistan of its periodic reports on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women;
introduced in order to put the Concluding Recommendations of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women into practice were the drafting and implementation of national plans of action providing specific measures to resolve problems associated with women’s rights;
in keeping with the Concluding Recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (paragraphs 13 and 14), the texts of the Concluding Observations of the Committee were disseminated among local authorities, citizens’ self-governing bodies and non-governmental non-commercial organizations involved in women’s rights.
5. In 2006-2008, work continued in Uzbekistan to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the efforts of the State and the society were geared to addressing the following issues:
drafting and adoption of a law on guarantees of equal rights and equal opportunities for women and men;
further improvement of legislation geared to prohibiting trafficking in women and children and violence in the family;
expansion and strengthening of State and public monitoring of the exercise of women’s rights, and the upgrading of statistical reports on the status of women (including rural women) in society;
introduction of gender analysis performed by State agencies and non-governmental non-commercial organizations with regard to national laws for purposes of improving the legal framework for safeguarding women’s rights and freedoms;
strengthening of the potential of the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan and other women’s non-governmental organizations and, inter alia, their roles in the active participation of women in the political and public life of the country.
6. In the years since the review of the Second and Third Periodic Reports on the Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, dramatic changes have taken place in Uzbekistan that could not have but affected the status of women.
7. In 2007 and 2008, laws were passed in Uzbekistan that were geared to radically renewing and modernizing the country and at improving the relationship among the State, the society, and individuals, namely: the 15 January 2007 law on the mass media (revised version); the 3 January 2007 law on guarantees with regard to the activities of non-governmental non-commercial organizations; the 2 May 2007 law on charity; the 11 April 2007 law on strengthening the role of political parties in the renewal and further democratization of State administration and modernization of the country; the 11 July 2007 law on the incorporation of amendments and additions to certain legislative acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan in connection with the abolition of the death penalty; the 11 July law on the incorporation of amendments and additions to certain legislative acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan in connection with the transfer to the courts of the authority to order remand in custody; the 7 January 2008 law on guarantees for the rights of children; and the 17 April 2008 law on combating human trafficking. In April 2008, Uzbekistan’s parliament ratified two ILO conventions: No. 138 concerning the minimum age for admission to employment, and No. 182 concerning the prohibition and immediate action for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour.
8. The year 2008 was declared in Uzbekistan to be the Year of Youth, and that is understandable, given that youth 18 years old or under number 10,360,000 in the country, which accounts for some 40 per cent of the population, and those 30 years old or under number 17,080,000, or 64 per cent. The question of the continuing concern of the entire society with regard to solving the problems of youth, who constitute a large segment of the country’s population, has been and will always be a focus of the attention of both the State and the entire society. Issued on 29 February 2008 was the presidential decision on the State programme Year of Youth, which decision approved the State programme dedicated to the Year of Youth, defined the principal areas for the support of youth, including girls, in various spheres of life via the improvement of the legal framework for safeguarding the rights and interests of youth, raising the quality of education, improving the logistical framework of educational institutions and addressing an array of issues, among them finding jobs for youth.
9. The annual practice of clemency for persons sentenced to incarceration, which was introduced after independence within the framework of the humanization of the system of criminal penalties, has had a substantial effect on safeguarding the right to freedom and personal inviolability for women and men.
10. In 2006, a Senate resolution on clemency freed more than 3,500 individuals who were being held at prison facilities and who represented the least social danger to society, 43 of whom were women; in 2007, the Senate resolution on clemency released more than 3,500 individuals who were being held at prison facilities and who represented the least social danger to society, 18 of whom were women.
11. The 1 May 2008 presidential decree, which approved the Programme of Activities dedicated to the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, calls for an array of events aimed at improving the system for protecting women’s rights, including the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which pertains to human trafficking, child prostitution and child pornography.
12. In 2007 and 2008, two important events took place: for the first time in Uzbekistan’s history, a woman was a candidate for the position of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and for the first time ever a woman was chosen as Speaker of the lower house of Parliament—the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis.
13. This, the Fourth Periodic Report, contains detailed information on legal and organizational measures and awareness-raising events geared to addressing problems associated with safeguarding women’s rights. The statistical data presented in the report relate primarily to 2006 and 2007; the statistics for 2008 will be presented later, after statistics agencies have correlated them.
14. The preparation of the Fourth Periodic Report on the Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women took into account all the observations and recommendations of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and other convention agencies with regard to matters pertaining to women’s rights.
15. The preparation of the reports was based on the provisions of Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, on the new United Nations document “Compilation of Guidelines on the Form and Content of Reports to Be Submitted by States Parties to the International Human Rights Treaties, the Concluding Observations and Recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women following consideration of the Second and Third periodic reports of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of [All Forms of] Discrimination against Women, and the General Comments of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women with regard to issues covered by the Convention.
16. The report shows the level of development of socio-political and legal thinking in Uzbekistan with regard to given aspects of women’s rights, which helps international structures to understand what stage Uzbekistan is in with regard to fostering, observing and protecting women’s rights.
17. The report attaches considerable significance to the illumination of legal and organizational mechanisms for safeguarding women’s rights in Uzbekistan. The report provides a complete description of prevailing law and discloses the goals and objectives of institutions that have been called on to put into practice statutory regulations on women’s rights, as well as provide information on the forms and areas of coordination of activities of the state agencies responsible for safeguarding women’s rights. It is that information that gives a clear picture of the national mechanisms supporting the civil, political and economic rights of women and the effectiveness of the implementation of international standards in that sphere.
18. It should also be noted that, for purposes of preparing a good report, on 14 May 2008, at the initiative of the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan and the National Centre for Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan with the support of the UNDP, a training seminar was conducted that was devoted to preparation of the Fourth Periodic Report of Uzbekistan on the Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and in which deputies of the Legislative Chamber took part, as did representatives of ministries and departments, women’s non-governmental organizations and citizens’ self-governing bodies.
19. The Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan, its regional structures and a whole array of women’s non-governmental organizations took a very active part in preparing the report.