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Ensuring women's rights is a priority of state policy
At the recent videoconference chaired by the head of state on the issues of the support system for women and the further strengthening of their position in society, topical tasks of today were discussed.

It should be noted that opportunities and legal guarantees have been created in our country to increase the socio-economic and political activity of women, increase their spiritual and intellectual potential, improve their health, protect the family, motherhood and childhood.

Topical issues of forming a healthy family in the country, creating the necessary conditions for a high level of spiritual and moral environment in the family, preparing young people for marriage, ensuring the stability of the family and protecting its interests, the birth and upbringing of a healthy child were raised to the level of state policy.

Reforms in this direction should cover remote areas of our republic and make women understand that they are under the protection and support of the state.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that at present there are more than 630 thousand women in the “women's notebooks”, of which 200 thousand are unemployed, and, unfortunately, cases of crime, violence and harassment among women still occur. These figures show that direct reforms do not work the same in all mahallas, and appeals are treated superficially by some local officials.

Protecting women's rights is one of the priorities of the Authorized Person of the Oliy Majlis for Human Rights (Ombudsman). In 2021, the Authorized Person of the Oliy Majlis for Human Rights (Ombudsman) received 18,738 appeals, of which 8,054, or 42.9%, came from women.

It must be recognized that all the processes of renewal taking place in the field of social relations in our country are not without certain difficulties. Citizens often face such problems in family and marriage relations, which is reflected in their appeals to the Ombudsman.

In total, 391 appeals for family protection were received in 2021, including 228 cases of cruel treatment of a woman by her husband in the family, 91 cases of violation of the rights of minors, 17 appeals about cruelty on the part of parents and close relatives of the spouses, in 17 appeals the issue of custody of child and in 7 cases, the rights of children to parental housing and in 31 cases - other circumstances.

These appeals were immediately taken under control by the Ombudsman and appropriate measures were taken. However, it must be recognized that some women do not know their rights well, are afraid, become helpless, defenseless due to constant torture, do not have sufficient legal awareness. We may also be unaware of their difficult situation when they do not contact the Ombudsman.

The head of our state, emphasizing the need to strengthen the legal protection of women, noted that today there is a need to improve the system of protection of women who have been subjected to persecution and violence. Women who do experience harassment and violence are under special state protection for 30 days, after which gaps appear in the system as the process progresses.

In the future, the protection of women from harassment and violence will be provided by the court, and the period of special protection will be up to one year, which will provide them with adequate psychological, social, legal assistance and employment.

The head of state noted that the issue of supporting women has been identified as one of the most important areas in the country's development strategy and for their systematic implementation in each territorial unit, and a Presidential Decree on the establishment of the State Committee for Family and Women Affairs has been adopted.

Undoubtedly, the implementation of reforms in each district will lay the foundation for identifying and providing practical assistance to unprotected women, many of whose rights have been grossly violated or infringed.

It should be noted that the reforms being carried out in our country are of a complex nature, including providing women with education, employment and housing, creating equal working conditions for them, in a word, comprehensive support. In his speech, the head of state said: “Now there will be a system in every microdistrict that will live on women's problems. There will be real numbers on my desk about what women need to study, what she needs to be treated, what she needs to raise children.”

In addition, an important step in the social support of women is that from September 1, 2022, the system of state payments for pregnancy and childbirth benefits to women officially working in the private sector. This serves to create a level playing field for everyone.

It was also noted that at least 40% of mortgage subsidies will be directed specifically to women.

Specific measures will also be taken to restore their health. In particular, 6,000 women will receive high-tech medical care this year. The disabled will be provided with rehabilitation facilities, 3 million women will be examined for cancer. Tasks were also given to vaccinate girls and provide women of childbearing age with medicines and vitamins free of charge.

In particular, the development of a program to support women's education for 2022-2026 will significantly increase the proportion of women scientists in our society. According to the program to create a separate university in the field of textiles on the basis of public-private partnership, starting from the new academic year, interest-free loans for girls for 7 years will be introduced for the first time to pay educational contracts.

Starting from the next academic year, the contract money of girls studying in the magistracy will be fully reimbursed from the budget, the contract for the education of low-income families, students who have lost one of their parents will be paid from the local budget, as well as at least 300 target quotas per year for women - doctoral students and other initiatives that will pave the way for ensuring gender equality in all areas in our country and accelerating development indicators.

In conclusion, it is worth noting that the above-mentioned reforms have taken another important step to support women in the country. The purpose must be clear and glorious, and there must be harmony in action. To this end, the Authorized Person for Human Rights of the Oliy Majlis (Ombudsman) declares his readiness to work with the newly created State Committee for Family and Women Affairs.

Feruza Eshmatova 
Commissioner of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Human Rights (Ombudsman)