Tajikistan has reduced the list of professions prohibited to women

Ahead of the review of the state report of Tajikistan by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the 87th session of CEDAW will begin on January 29, 2024), the authorities have lifted a number of professional restrictions for women.

Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan No. 568 of December 30, 2023, approves a new List, reduced from 334 to 194 professions and types of work in 22 economic sectors where employment of women is prohibited.

The reduction of the list is explained, as indicated in the document, with “automatisation of production processes and improvement of working conditions” and “increased access of women to relevant professions and increased income.” Professions in the field of transport (railway, automobile, and aviation), are still prohibited, as well as works underground and at high altitude.

In March 2017, ADC Memorial launched the #AllJobs4AllWomen campaign against professional restrictions for women in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. At that time, gender employment bans applied to hundreds of jobs, including prestigious and highly paid ones, in 10 countries of the region. The Lists of prohibited professions for women, inherited from the Soviet era, have for decades legitimized discrimination against women in the field of employment under the pretext of caring for their “reproductive function.”

Over the years of the campaign, legislative professional bans on women’s work have been lifted in Moldova, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan; in Russia, Belarus, and now in Tajikistan, the lists have been reduced.

ADC Memorial has repeatedly raised the issue of prohibited professions in alternative reports to the UN CEDAW in a number of countries: Russia (2015, 20202021), Belarus (2016), Armenia (2016), Ukraine (2017, 2020), Tajikistan (2018), Turkmenistan (2018), Kazakhstan (2019), Moldova (2020), Kyrgyzstan (2021), Azerbaijan (2022); to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in relation to Moldova (2017), Russia (2017), Kazakhstan (2018), Turkmenistan (2018), Azerbaijan (2019); in reports for the European Union and EU Dialogues on Human Rights with countries of the region. International organizations have made appropriate recommendations to governments to abolish discriminatory legislation and practices.