Uzbekistan has improved legislation on accessibility of the transport sector for women’s employment

In 2019, the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan abolished the odious List of jobs prohibited for women (Resolution No. 865-1 of 06/10/2019 “On invalidation of the List of jobs with unfavorable working conditions in which the use of female labor is completely or partially prohibited”).

Only now the Cabinet of Ministers has taken particular measures to bring subordinate by-laws in line with the cancellation of the List – as a result, a number of professions in the field of motor transport will actually become accessible to women. According to the Decision of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 85 dated 02/12/2024  regarding drivers’ training and licensing, women will now be able to drive trucks with over 2.5 tonnes capacity and buses with a capacity of more than 14 passengers.

Thus, by the mentioned Decision of 12.02.2024, paragraph 27 has been excluded from the “Regulations on the procedure for registration of state educational institutions and educational groups of other legal entities engaged in the provision of non-governmental educational services in the field of training, retraining and advanced training of drivers of motor vehicles and urban electric transport, as well as examinations and the issuance of a national driver’s license”:

P.27. The right to drive trucks or buses for women, including to driving vehicles belonging to category “C” or “D”, is limited  by certain restrictions established by the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Council of the Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan, providing that the load capacity of cars should not exceed 2.5 t, and the number of passengers on the bus should not exceed 14 people.

By the same Decision of 12.02.2024, paragraph 5 was excluded from the “Regulations on the procedure for training, retraining and advanced training of drivers of motor vehicles and urban electric vehicles:

P.5 When organizing a training for women in the “VS” and “D” categories, the load capacity of trucks should not exceed 2.5 tons, and the number of passengers allowed to be transported in buses is 14 people.

Driving schools and driver licensing authorities must now take into account anti-discrimination regulations that allow women to work in previously prohibited areas.

The ban on the use of women’s labor in certain industries or professions, which was abolished by the 2019 Decree, has acquired a “recommendatory character”, leaving in practice inaccessible employment in professions “not recommended” for women. In March 2022, after reviewing the state report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the UN CEDAW called on Uzbekistan to reorient its labour policy and base it on the principle of gender equality, in particular, to facilitate women’s access to previously prohibited professions. According to alternative reports to the UN CEDAW, women make up only 12% of employees in managerial positions, there is a significant difference in salaries between women and men in the country, horizontal and vertical segregation in the labor market, and difficulties in access to employment for women from vulnerable groups.