Gender Equality Seal launched for Public Institutions in Uzbekistan

State Customs Committee becomes first public institution in Uzbekistan to embrace the initiative

October 19, 2022
Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Today the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly with the Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the role of women in society, gender equality and family, the Committee on Women and Gender Equality of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis and State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan launched a Gender Equality Seal for Public Institutions (GES for PI) programme to promote women empowerment and gender equality among government agencies in Uzbekistan. 

The State Customs Committee is the first public institution in Uzbekistan to embrace the programme, the first of its kind in Uzbekistan and in Central Asia. Its main objective is to promote public policies that are more gender-responsive, effective, efficient, and targeted to the needs of all citizens, especially vulnerable women. In particular, it provides public institutions with a feasible and practical framework to strengthen their capacities and deliver for gender equality in a more effective and visible way.

Tanzila Narbayeva, Chairperson of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, said this initiative will facilitate the successful implementation of the National Strategy to Advance Gender Equality in Uzbekistan and will set an example not only in Uzbekistan but across Central Asia.  Speaking at the launch event, she also noted that gender equality is not just about empowering women. “Promoting and achieving gender equality also empowers men, and benefits the entire society.”

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Matilda Dimovska, UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan, said the Gender Seal directly supports the country’s international commitments and its active advocacy to promote gender equality. “Uzbekistan has committed to expanding women’s economic opportunities, improving reproductive health and eradicating gender-based violence,” she said.  “This is an important step in that direction.”

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

The GES for PI mechanism supports public institutions by providing: (i) sustained and tailored gender expert support throughout all the Gender Equality Seal process; (ii) capacity building on gender equality; (iii) access to the online platform of Gender Equality Seal for Public Institutions at minimal cost, (iv) a platform to integrate and exchange experiences and lessons learned with a global community of gender champions in public institutions; (vi) the opportunity to improve Uzbekistan’s national, regional and global image as gender-responsive and innovative public institutions. 

Nodira Azizova, national gender adviser of the UNDP GES for PI, presented the main objectives, milestones and benchmarks that should be achieved and implemented by the State Customs Committee. Through the programme, UNDP will support the public institutions to develop and implement a number of specific interventions designed to identify and address gender gaps based on the requirements of the GES standards. At the end of the programme, based on the achievement of specific outcomes, State Customs Committee will attain a Bronze, Silver or Gold Gender Equality Seal.

Ana Maria Landa Ugarte, global coordinator of the programme, noted that the Customs Committee of Uzbekistan, as one of the two pioneers in implementing the Gender Equality Seal in the Customs sector globally, has a unique opportunity to become a world gender equality champion within the Customs community, and within the wider global public administration community.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Otabek Choriev, Deputy Chairman of the State Customs Committee, reconfirmed the commitment of the organization on improving on advancing gender equality and women empowerment. Specifically, to strengthen gender capacity of the organization and establishes standards and performance benchmarks based on the international and national agreements and commitments.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Many state organizations in the country have expressed interest in the Gender Equality Seal programme. For example, the Ministry of Finance and the State Committee on Ecology and Environment Protection attended the event remotely and expressed a sincere interest to join.