Sunday, 14, April, 2024

The World Bank released today its flagship annual report, Women, Business and the Law (the 2024 WBL), which assesses progress toward legal gender equality worldwide. The 2024 edition features an index that evaluates 190 countries, including Uzbekistan, against 10 indicators: Safety, Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Childcare, Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension.

The latest Women, Business, and the Law report shows that between October 1, 2022, and October 1, 2023, only 18 countries — less than 10 percent of those assessed — implemented legal reforms across these indicators. Altogether, these countries enacted 47 reforms enhancing gender equality under the law. In Europe and Central Asia region, five economies — Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, and Moldova — introduced nine reforms.

Uzbekistan, along with Jordan, Malaysia, Sierra Leone, and Togo, is recognized as one of the five countries that improved the most, having introduced four important reforms that advanced gender equality since October 2022.

The reforms have positively impacted two key indicators, Pay and Marriage, leading to an 11.9-point increase in Uzbekistan’s position, which now stands at a score of 82.5 in the 2024 WBL index. The country has achieved the same number of scores as Singapore, Türkiye, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as has shown the most substantial progress in Central Asia.

Specifically, Uzbekistan has mandated equal pay for work of equal value and removed restrictions on a woman’s employment in industrial jobs and jobs deemed dangerous. In October 2022, the authorities adopted a new Labor Code, incorporating these provisions in line with international labor standards and conventions.

Moreover, Uzbekistan has enacted legislation protecting a woman from domestic violence. In April 2023, amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Administrative Liability were introduced to address domestic violence directly, including physical, psychological, and financial abuse in family relationships, and established criminal penalties for such offenses.

"The World Bank welcomes the progress Uzbekistan has achieved in promoting gender equality, as recognized in the latest Women, Business, and the Law Report. The recent legal reforms have significantly enhanced womenʻs civil, labor, and economic rights,” said Tatiana Proskuryakova, the World Bankʻs Regional Director for Central Asia. “We were delighted to contribute to these reforms through our financial and analytical support provided to the Government. Continued efforts to empower women in Uzbekistan will foster a more equitable and prosperous society, benefiting all citizens irrespective of their gender."

The World Bank has supported the reforms in Uzbekistan mentioned in the 2024 WBL report by providing the Government with analytical and financial assistance, including through development policy operations delivered in 2021 and 2023 to support transformative social and economic reforms in various sectors.

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2024-04-12