After considering the state report of Uzbekistan and alternative materials at its 81st session, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women published recommendations to the Government of the country. Important recommendations of the Committee relate to the issues raised in the alternative report of the ADC “Memorial”: the women’s rights to work and the situation of women from the Mugat (Luli) ethnic group.
The Committee expressed concern with the fact that instead of the abolished List of professions prohibited for women, a new “recommendative” list was introduced, actually copying the previous one. At the same time, women make up only 12% of employees in managerial positions, there is a significant gender pay gap, horizontal and vertical gender segregation in the labor market, barriers for employment of women from vulnerable groups.
The Committee recommended to Uzbekistan to refocus its employment policy and base it on the principle of gender equality, in particular:
- (a) Expedite the adoption of the Action Plan to create a pool of women eligible for managerial positions;
- (b) Take targeted measures to promote women’s access to formal employment, including management positions and higher paid jobs in traditionally male dominated professions and to decision-making positions in national and local administration, through professional training, incentives for women’s preferential recruitment, expanding the number and quality of childcare services and pre-school education in urban and rural areas, and by taking measures to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s employment;
- (c) Effectively implement the principle of equal pay for work of equal value by regularly reviewing wages in sectors in which women are concentrated and adopting measures to close the gender pay gap, including through gender-neutral analytical job classification and evaluation methods and regular pay surveys;
- (d) Review the list of non-recommended occupations restricting women’s access to certain professions and jobs; facilitate women’s access to such occupations; and ensure that any restrictions are proportionate and applied on a case-by-case basis and not sweepingly to all women;
- (e) Ensure maternity protection for women working in the informal economy; facilitate the return to work of young mothers; and promote equal sharing of household and childcare responsibilities between women and men, including by expanding the use of paternity leave;
- (f) Ratify ILO Convention No. 156 (1981), on Workers with Family Responsibility; and
- (g) Improve access to employment and training opportunities for disadvantaged and marginalized groups of women, such as women belonging to ethnic minorities, women with disabilities and migrant women, and provide pre-departure training for women who migrate.
A number of recommendations of the Committee relate to women belonging to the Mugat/Luli ethnic group; these are, in particular, points on improving access to education and obtaining citizenship and personal documents which are typical problems of this minority, while girls and women suffer more than others from them. Finally, the Mugat/Luli minority is named among other vulnerable groups suffering from multiple discrimination. In a special recommendation on the situation of these groups, the UN CEDAW says that targeted measures, including temporary special measures, should be taken to ensure their access to justice, employment and health care, including sexual and reproductive health services respecting patient confidentiality, social protection and food security.