PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS 2016
October 25, 2016
WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN ELECTIONS DISCUSSED AT A NATIONAL SEMINAR
On October 24, the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan jointly with the Central Election Commission organized a nationwide workshop entitled “Participation of women in elections” at the Republican Press Center for covering the presidential elections.
Held in a videoconference format, the seminar was attended by representatives of the Women’s Committee, its regional offices and primary organizations, of the Central Election Commission, the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Independent Institute for Monitoring the Formation of Civil Society, Olima (Scholar Woman) Association of Women Scientists, Oila (Family) Scientific-Practical Center, senior specialists of Mahalla Charity Fund, officials of ministries, other government agencies and higher education institutions, along with consultants of citizens’ assemblies on religious, spiritual and ethical enlightenment, as well as journalists.
At the event, chairperson of the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan Elmira Basitkhanova and other speakers stressed that the process of building a democratic state and free civil society, modernization of the country, spearheaded under the leadership of the first President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, an electoral system has been established that meets universally recognized democratic standards, provides for basic political rights enshrined in the Constitution of the nation, in particular the right of citizens to elect and be elected, and freedom of expression.
It was emphasized that the current Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, along with more than 80 laws and other regulations secure equal rights and freedoms for all citizens, irrespective of their gender, race, ethnic background, religion, beliefs, identity and social status. In particular, Article 46 of the Constitution stipulates equality between women and men.
Extensive works are carried out to secure the execution of activities envisaged in the approved by the Central Election Commission on 7 October 2016 Program for the Elevation of Voters’ Legal Culture in the run-up to the presidential elections. The efforts are directed also at the broad explanation of the essence and meaning of the Law on Elections of the President of Uzbekistan, of the amendments and addenda introduced into it in recent years, as well as the rights and freedoms of voters fixed in laws.
It was underscored in particular that the right of citizens to participate in governance is an important principle of a democratic state and robust civil society. The electoral process itself serves to uplift the social activity, legal consciousness and political culture of citizens.
Implementation of comprehensive reforms in the democratization and renovation of society is organically tied to the realization of citizens’ right to vote. This is the reason the awareness of the electorate, particularly women, of every stage of the electoral campaign, enhancement of their legal culture and social activity is essential. This, in turn, ensures complete compliance with the laws on elections and delivers an environment conducive for the free expression of will on the ballot day.
To date, in accordance with the action plan on the organization of outreach events on the theme “Participation of women in elections”, elaborated in the framework of the Program to Elevate the Legal Culture of Voters, outreach works are consistently in progress to improve the electoral and legal culture of women. In addition, national and regional TV and radio channels have been preparing and airing a series of programs and shows on the electoral legislation aimed at improving the socio-political activity of women in the forthcoming elections, while articles on the same topic are published regularly in the national and regional print media.
The seminar participants discussed the role of the Women’s Committee and its primary organizations as well as the commissions for women’s affairs under citizens’ assemblies in the organization of events in the run-up to the upcoming elections, of outreach activities designed to explain the essence and meaning of the Law on Elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the basic tasks of district and precinct electoral commissions, the participation of women in their work. They deliberated on the role of civil society institutions in organizing and conducting the elections.
The occasion also served to consider issues related to the arrangement of roundtable discussions and meetings on the theme “Participation of women in elections” in higher education institutions, teams of organizations, enterprises and offices in regions and districts, among the primary organizations of women’s committees in vocational colleges, academic lyceums and general schools.
It was stressed that the consistent implementation of enlightenment activities aimed at boosting the socio-political activeness of women in the preparations for and conduct of the forthcoming elections is essential in their realization of the importance of their votes for the development of state and society.
The workshop participants received answers to all their questions.
(Source: Republican Press Center for Covering the Elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)