Figures show: teacher, doctor or artist - a typical “woman’s job” in Uzbekistan

25 Nov 2014

Gender equality is a vital topic in the majority of countries in the world, and is one of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG). It is also included as one of the Sustainable Development Goals that UN aims to achieve by 2030. In Uzbekistan, UN Development Program has been doing a lot of work towards women’s empowerment. Still, current statistical data shows that there are areas that need attention of the government, all economic sectors, and the society. Aiming to raise awareness of the gender equality issue in Uzbekistan, the UNDP Local Governance Support Project/Phase-2 has created infographic that illustrates current trends.

According to the developed visual report, the number of women in Uzbekistan is almost equal to the number of men. But, in terms of territory, women prevail over men in the cities, and come short in the villages. On average, women live almost five years longer than men, and commit only 17% of crime.

As for socio-economic participation, there are several gaps that need to be addressed. Thus, education shows significant inequality by gender. As the figures show, out of 258.4 thousand students entering universities, only 36.5% are women. Women predominantly study liberal arts and pedagogy – more than 50% and 60% respectively. And only 18-19% of students of technical universities are girls. Consequently, there is gender imbalance in such sectors as public health, sports, education, arts, where women represent more than 70% of employees. In other words, teacher, doctor and artist can easily be called “a woman’s job”. Finally, gender misbalance can be observed in public administration and management, where women participation accounts for only 27%, while they make up only 19% of civil servants in local governments. It is noteworthy that there are no women khokims.

Empowerment of women is one of the key elements of democratic development in the world. Equal opportunities in education and employment created for women affect poverty rates, as well as raise child literacy and health of the population at large. It is essential to any nation to express zero tolerance towards gender discrimination and ensure women’s rights. Understanding the role of women in the family, and society as a whole, and taking into account related imperfections existing in many countries, the gender equality remains an important topic for the United Nations

The government of Uzbekistan, in cooperation with UNDP, has been working on the gender equality issues for many years and accomplished significant changes such as promotion of women’s entrepreneurship, raising awareness about women’s equal rights, and mainstreaming gender aspects into budgeting processes.

Still, it is obvious from the infographic that a lot of socio-economic changes are ahead. Among recommendations for further improvement of gender equality in Uzbekistan are the following:

·         Develop a distant learning education system.

·         Create targeted enrollment, quotas and scholarships for women to study tradition “male” majors.

·         Define equal marriage age in the national legislation.

·         Enlarge a high quality pre-schooling system, especially in rural areas, to attract women to the labor market.

·         Establish fixed-hour work day and competitive recruitment in public organizations.

·         Implement temporary special measures in the spheres where women are less represented (female specialist registry, 30% quota for female employees, etc.).

·         Eradicate unequal conditions for girls and boys college enrollment.

·         Introduce special programs for female civil servants, improving their leadership and management capacity.

·         Introduce information campaigns aimed at eradicating stereotypes and improving gender literacy among general population with the focus on male audience.

·          Regularly collect data disaggregated by sex and promote equal consideration of women and men interests and needs in the process of development of government programs and policies.

Inforgaphic is designed to raise awareness among government officials and the general public about gender equality issues in Uzbekistan.

LGSP/Phase-2 is jointly implemented between UNDP and Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan to promote more effective, accountable and inclusive governance in Uzbekistan by enhancing local government performance, increasing citizen participation in local governance and local development, and supporting accountability and transparency. LGSP/Phase-2 also supports the Government`s efforts in civil service reform in terms of creating a unified legal framework and more capable civil servants including more women.


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