Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) brought together representatives from the Government of Uzbekistan, civil society organizations, international organizations, and experts from around the world to share best practices in combating and preventing gender-based violence (GBV) at an international conference. The conference, entitled, “Combating Violence Against Women in Uzbekistan: Achievements, Challenges, and Perspectives,” also highlighted progress and persisting challenges in efforts to eliminate GBV and to promote gender equality.
Speaking at the conference, USAID’s Mission Director Mikaela Meredith said: “The United States Government is pursuing a comprehensive plan to promote women's economic empowerment, end gender-based violence, and tackle inequalities both at home, and around the world. Gender-based violence is not acceptable, it is not inevitable, and it can be stopped.”
Uzbekistan has undertaken significant steps toward achieving gender equality and combating GBV, including by passing the 2019 Law “On the Protection of Women from Harassment and Violence.” The new law marked a sea change in how the justice system views the rights of women and girls and laid out concrete actions to make the new safeguards established by this law a reality.
USAID is committed to preventing and responding to GBV around the world, which is a human rights abuse, a public health challenge, and a barrier to civic, social, political, and economic participation and development. With a keen focus on prevention, USAID invests in programs that address the root causes of GBV in families, interpersonal relationships, and in a variety of public and private settings. In Uzbekistan, USAID has expanded partnerships with non-governmental organizations, women's groups, private-sector firms, and government institutions to implement effective programs to increase awareness and prevention of the harmful impacts of violence against women.
The conference is part of the global campaign, “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence”, a civil society initiative started in 1991 and coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. The campaign runs each year from November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, Human Rights Day.