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Globally, women earn 10 per cent of the world’s income but work two-thirds of the world’s working hours. At the same time, 70 per cent of the world's poor are women.

Women play a significant role in the issues of sustainable development and economic wellbeing. Gender equality is one of the fundamental human rights, reflected in SDGs. UNFPA promotes equality of rights and opportunities for men and women, and calls for implementing necessary legal and political reforms in this area. In addition, we support collecting gender-disaggregated data and implement initiatives aimed at empowering women and combating gender-based violence.

Uzbekistan has been among the first Central Asian countries to ratify the CEDAW – UN Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Violence and Discrimination against Women. To date, the country has submitted four periodical reports to CEDAW Committee. In response to recommendations received to latest report, National Action Plan on CEDAW was adopted, and UNFPA is working to bring together the efforts of national institutions and international organizations in implementing the Plan.

In addition, UNFPA contributes to development of effective gender-related legislation in the country. With the Fund’s support, draft Law on equality of rights and opportunities for men and women was developed and reviewed by international expert. The draft is currently being submitted to national lawmaking bodies for further processing.

In recent years, the Government of Uzbekistan has been prioritizing improvement of legislative and institutional base for further ensuring equality for women in all spheres of life. With the introduction of 30% quota in Parliament for women candidates of political parties, more women could be elected and participate in decision-making.

UNFPA is committed to supporting the government in these efforts, with advocacy and capacity-building activities for local experts. With UNFPA’s help, several centres for social and legal support of women were established in the country. The Fund provided training on gender-based violence prevention for professionals from different areas including community leaders, psychologists and law enforcement system representatives.

Giving Choices to Women in Crisis Situations – UNFPA-supported Helpdesk Opens in Tashkent
Otabek, 27, lives in the old city neighborhood in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He has been brought up in a rather traditional family, taught from his early childhood that men are stronger and smarter, while women’s place is at home, with children and house chores. Never in his life could Otabek imagine that a day will come when he, no longer able to cope with conflicts in his family, will take his young wife, his mother and unmarried sisters to a counselor for psychological advice.

The Women’s Helpdesk opened in Tashkent and two other Uzbek cities in January last year, within a joint project of Civic Initiatives Support Fund and EU’s TACIS Programme. Starting from this year, UNFPA took on EU’s baton in supporting of the Helpdesk in Tashkent, providing administrative support with equipment, facilities and staff, and also assisting in organizing of training and advocacy events for the staff and clients.