May 23, 2018

Diplomat Magazine to Promote Uzbek-Dutch Cooperation on Family Values

H.E. Mr. Dilyor Khakimov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the EU and the Benelux countries.

Uzbekistan is the most populous country in Central Asia, a region that lies at the heart of the Eurasian continent. Uzbek people have a rich history, culture, art, and literature. Among the array of values that characterize the Uzbek society, family definitely plays a major role. The people believe that a strong family is the basis of a strong society, and therefore they assign to it a great value when making their choices, both in the personal and the political sphere.

For instance, Uzbekistan declared the Preservation of the Family Institute as one of its priorities, and the government has invested a lot of money and efforts to create favorable conditions for mothers to care about their families. In order to do so, a number of state programs have been recently implemented in the country, focusing for instance on the improvement of medical services for the population, and specifically for women and children.

In addition, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has lately directed his efforts at improving the system of preschool education, thus positively impacting the lives of the 2.45 million Uzbek children in preschool age. Moreover, it is planned that in 2017-2021 the country will implement a special state program for construction and reconstruction of kindergartens. Вy 2018 alone, the plan envisages an investment of about $100 million for reconstruction of 427 kindergartens.

The state is also taking care of women in need of social protection and psychological support. For instance, the State Women’s Committee, chaired by the government’s Deputy Prime Minister, who is in charge of women’s affairs, has been a focal agency to coordinate nationwide programs in this regard. Besides, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has been championing further enhancement of state’s efforts to protect women’s rights, and to provide them with additional opportunities for realizing their potential.

For instance, the latest Presidential decree mandated the establishment of “Oila” (Family) Scientific and Practical Research Center under the Cabinet of Ministers. The aim of this newly established think-tank is to identify and address a range of problems affecting women, and to provide support to families on the ground.

Specifically, in 2017 the Center provided family and marriage-related consultations to over 5 million families, thus preventing 22,000 divorces, employing 36,000 women, and allocating preferential loans to 14,500 people.

As for the employment, Uzbek women make up 45.5% of the country’s whole workforce, and 34% of the whole number of private company managers. Besides, women hold an array of relevant positions in Uzbek society: 500 of them are doctors of sciences and academicians, 15 are Heroes of Uzbekistan, 17 are senators, and 16 are members of the Lower house of the Parliament.

The government and the people of Uzbekistan believe that, in times of globalization and mutual penetration of cultures, the preservation of national cultural and moral values is an important matter. And, in this process, the family is a major pillar. To this end, the country is currently drafting a Concept of Strengthening the Family Institute: this institute will identify the main priorities for all stakeholders in the process of making the family a primary cell of society, in order to preserve the traditions of the Uzbek people.

Despite being different countries in different parts of the world, Uzbekistan and the Netherlands are somewhat similar in terms of protecting and empowering women. On the one hand, the Dutch are well known for their values of freedom, protection, and tolerance. On the other hand, Uzbekistan can be proud of its accomplishments in this regard, especially among fellow Central Asian countries and in the Islamic world at large.

To closely observe Uzbekistan’s achievements and explore opportunities for cooperation, Diplomat Magazine is currently planning a visit to Uzbekistan in July this year. Women ambassadors accredited in the Netherlands and a number of women leaders from business and industry would be invited to this trip.

In light of vast transformations which are now underway in Uzbekistan, interaction between women leaders from various countries might well lead to a broader dialogue on the very important issues, such as preservation and strengthening of family values. Diplomat Magazine is proud to facilitate this process, and to be part of this interesting and relevant initiative.

 

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