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Uzbekistan’s strides against gender-based violence: Strengthened protections and the path to further reforms

Uzbekistan adopted a new law against gender-based violence, which came into force in April 2023. Equality Now welcomes the adoption of this law, which conveys to society that violence against women and children is unacceptable.

The law introduces administrative and criminal liability for domestic violence, including economic and psychological violence, and extends the term of application for protection orders for domestic violence. Sexual harassment and stalking were also outlawed and entailed punishment. Additionally, disclosure of information about a person’s private life, which infringes on their honor and dignity (e.g. image-based sexual abuse), became punishable. The law strengthens protections for child victims of sexual violence and toughens penalties for various crimes of sexual violence. 

But there is still room for further changes to ensure better protection for women and girls in Uzbekistan. Equality Now has repeatedly analyzed Uzbekistan’s legislation and law enforcement practices relating to sexual violence. Equality Now’s explainer shows in detail what has changed for women and children after the new law was adopted and how the legislation can be further improved.

Download the full statement in English and Russian.