FAO initiated development of the Gender Strategy of the State Forestry Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- Online conference was organized to have the final discussions of the Gender Strategy of the State Forestry Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2021-2025 and Gender action plan for 2021-2022. The documents were designed within the framework of the FAO/GEF project "Sustainable management of forests in mountain and valley areas of Uzbekistan".
«In close cooperation with FAO, Uzbekistan has introduced the principles of gender equality in forest management policies and practices. One of the biggest achievements is the development of the first long-term, budgeted Corporate Gender Strategy of the State Forestry Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which aims to achieve the goals of ecosystem conservation through sustainable and equitable rural development», - emphasized Sherzod Umarov, Officer in Charge for the FAO Representation in Uzbekistan.
The Gender Strategy sets specific goals to be achieved by 2025, namely:
1. At least 30% of women should have access to land, be users of land and forest resources (as tenants; owners of pasture lands, nurseries, apiaries or other productive resources managed by forestry enterprises) and be able to manage them.
2. At least 30% of women should have access to services and markets to develop alternative sources of income based on forestry.
3. At least 30% of women should participate in decision-making, in formation of laws, policies and programs related to the forest sector of Uzbekistan.
4. Since women spend almost as much time on unpaid domestic work as men spend on paid productive work, the Committee contributes to a 20% reduction in the labour burden for female employees working and living in the forestry sector by improving social infrastructure (for example, support for departmental preschool institutions), access to modern technologies and services, and promoting a more equitable distribution of household responsibilities.
5. At least 30% of agricultural aid allocated to projects should relate to women and gender equality.
- The long-term gender strategy of the State Forestry Committee is adopted in order to ensure equal consideration of the interests of women and men living in forest areas, ensure sustainable forest management, social justice, national and international obligations, as well as to effectively implement the tasks of the Committee, - noted Eleonora Fayzullayeva, FAO expert on gender and social issues.
The Gender strategy is based on the Laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan «On guarantees of equal rights and opportunities for women and men», «Оn protection of women from harassment and violence», as well as on the National Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, the legal basis for the development of documents was the Presidential Decrees of the Republic of Uzbekistan «On additional measures to improve the efficiency of forest management in the Republic» and «On approval of the Forestry system development concept of the Republic of Uzbekistan till 2030».
- Women from rural areas located in the forest sector should be widely involved in sustainable forest management, - says Olimjon Khakimov, first deputy of Chairman of the State Committee on Forestry of the Republic of Uzbekistan. - International experience shows that eliminating gender inequality in resource management, decision-making, and equal income generation play an important role in addressing the challenges of rural development, food security, and agricultural productivity.
Among the participants of the virtual discussion were FAO experts, specialists of the State Forestry Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Forestry Committee of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional forestry organizations, employees of the Ministry for Support of Mahallas and Families, representatives of non-government organizations, research institutes, as well as the administration of forestry organizations from 4 pilot areas of Uzbekistan.
The mechanism for Strategy’s implementation includes creation of an Advisory and Executive Council headed by an Authorized person (at the level of The first Deputy Chairman of the Committee). A detailed Gender action plan for 2021-2022 includes gender-related activities at the level of the Committee and regional forestry organizations, as well as indicators for monitoring the progress of the Strategy’s implementation. It is planned to allocate at least 10% of the annual budget of the Committee and forestry organizations to support gender-related activities.