The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women this afternoon heard from representatives of non-governmental organizations on the situation of women’s rights in Uzbekistan, Peru, Lebanon and the Dominican Republic, whose reports will be reviewed this week.
In relation to Uzbekistan, non-governmental organizations spoke about discrimination and violence against lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer girls and women in Uzbekistan; discrimination against women in employment, especially women belonging to ethnic minorities; domestic violence; and housing for women.
Speaking on Uzbekistan were the following non-governmental organizations: Central Asian Gender and Sexuality Advocacy Network and International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association-Europe, Eurasian Women’s Network on AIDS, Anti-Discrimination Centre Memorial, and International Partnership for Human Rights.
Central Asian Gender and Sexuality Advocacy Network and International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association-Europe said although only consensual same-sex conduct between men was explicitly criminalised, lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer women were also affected by this criminalisation. Uzbekistan provided no legal protection to victims of different forms of gender-based violence and domestic violence as well as hate crimes against this population. Uzbekistan should decriminalise consensual same-sex sexual acts and ensure protection of lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer women from discrimination and violence.
Eurasian Women’s Network on AIDS said the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan stipulated responsibility both for exposure to HIV and HIV transmission. This violated human rights. Women experiencing intersecting forms of discrimination were at high risk of unlawful application of the criminal provision on HIV transmission.
Anti-Discrimination Centre Memorial noted significant legislative reforms in Uzbekistan after 2016 but was still concerned about discrimination against women in employment. The abolition of the list of prohibited professions turned out to be declarative and had not yet led to employment of women in previously banned positions. The Government should eliminate discrimination of women in employment through legislative and practical measures. Women from ethnic minorities, in particular Mugat or Lyuli women, suffered from multiple discrimination which was typical for Roma and Roma-like communities in Central Asia.
International Partnership for Human Rights noted positive steps to combat domestic violence in Uzbekistan but expressed concern that the Uzbekistani authorities were failing to actively prosecute perpetrators of domestic violence and protect victims. There were persisting societal stigma and stereotypes caused by deep-rooted patriarchal attitudes, and protection gaps led to the lack of effective prosecution. Also, sexual violence was not punished in intimate partnerships. Cases of domestic violence rarely went to court, and penalties were insufficient.
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women’s eighty-first session is being held from 7 to 25 February. All the documents relating to the Committee’s work, including reports submitted by States parties, can be found on the session’s webpage. Meetings summary releases can be found here. The webcast of the Committee’s public meetings can be accessed at http://webtv.un.org/ .