UNDP organizes Photo Exhibition “The New Women. Uzbekistan. The 20th Century”
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
The photo exhibition “The New Women. The 20th Century” opened on 19 November in the Art Gallery of Uzbekistan. The event organized by the United Nations Development Programme in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Uzbekistan is devoted to the 30th anniversary of CEDAW - the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
On 25 November 1979, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention which became the basis for all UN member-states to fight discrimination against women and has often been described as an “international bill of rights for women”.
UNDP has collaborated with the government and various agencies in on the CEDAW implementation since the country signed it in 1995.
At the photo exhibition, presented are 100 photographs from family archives of many prominent individuals of Uzbekistan. They give a retrospect to the history of the Uzbek nation through the images of the women that were pioneers in many areas, including political and social life, art, science and sports in of the 20th century.
Ms. Anita Nirody, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan, said in her opening speech that UN agencies have cooperated with on implementing CEDAW that is a tool to “address and combat gender discrimination”.
“Uzbekistan has made progress in promoting women’s rights: equal rights and opportunities for both men and women are enshrined in the Uzbek constitution, the 30% quota on party election list has enabled an increase of women’s representation in the legislative branch to 16%. Uzbekistan has already achieved one of the two targets of MDG3 - gender equality in primary and secondary education. At the same time, there is clearly a lot to be done,” Ms. Nirody said.
Marfua Tokhtakhodjaeva, who collected the photographs and authored the exhibition, told about the concept of “The New Woman” introduced in late 19th century by Kassim (Qasim) Amin, a Egyptian- Turkish modernist: “The concept brought a notion of an educated and enlightened woman who was equal to her husband in not only raising their children but also in bearing responsibility for the future of children, society and the nation”.
“Women in the Uzbek society in the 20th century were also a part of the modernization that started in early 1900-s and continued throughout the century, although the process faced certain difficulties during the Soviet times. Those women felt empowered and thus created a solid basis for women’s empowerment in the period of ’s independence”, Tokhtakhodjaeva said.
Representatives of government institutions, universities, foreign diplomatic missions, international organizations and media attended the opening ceremony. Among the guests were many of those who shared their personal and family photos with Tokhtakhodjaeva to make the exhibition happen.
The photo exhibition is open until 2 December 2009.