Democratization the need for gender equality and

Democratization of public life
requires the introduction of new approaches developed by the world community,
namely gender modernization of power, the development and implementation of
gender-sensitive policies in all areas of society and the state, as well as
broad advocacy of the advantages of such approaches. Harmonization of gender
relations is an important prerequisite and direction of modern democratic
reforms. The future of democracy in particular depends on the extent to which
the problem of gender equality will be solved in society.

Women’s participation in
decision making at all levels of government is essential for addressing various
developmental challenges that societies face. Women’s leadership and
participation are guided by a number of international commitments to women’s
representation, including the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women; the Beijing Platform for Action and the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) until 2030.

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Inclusion in decision making
is part of the general issue of gender equality that is prominently highlighted
in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development Goal 5,
Gender Equality, encourages states to intensify work on ending all forms of
discrimination against women and to seek ways of empowering women and girls in
their societies.

Women’s representation in the
decision making matters because: women’s leadership is fundamental for gender
equality and sustainable development, it is a human right and a requirement of
democracy, it is critical to realizing all SDGs and SDG 5 in particular, women
are still under-represented at all levels of decision making worldwide and
decision making is not yet sufficiently informed by women’s actual needs and
priorities.

Background of the Study

 

The need in doing this research is determined by the
problems caused by socioeconomic and political transformations in the Republic
of Tajikistan. In particular: insufficient awareness of the need for gender
equality and the implementation of gender policy, the existence of traditional
stereotypes about the role and place of women in society; imperfection of the
legislative framework; formal equality of men and women; insufficient
interaction of state institutions and non-governmental organizations dealing
with the protection of women’s rights and legitimate interests; obstacles
remain for women to realize their rights in the sphere of labor, economy,
culture, politics, etc.

The theoretical and practical position of the work
reveals the features of the development and effective socio-political
adaptation of the female community in modern Tajik society. The main provisions
of the dissertation work further study the problems of political adaptation of
women in the transition economy, identify the main directions for establishing
gender equality as one of the priorities of state policy, as well as enhance
the political activation of women in Tajikistan.

 

Significance of
the Study

 

With the acquisition of independence, Tajikistan began
the process of building a legal, democratic, secular state with a market
economy and reforming the entire legislative base. During these years,
Tajikistan, as a subject of international law, has joined many international
legal acts in the field of human rights, including the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), ratified on
June 26, 1993. Becoming a member of the COLDM, the state takes concrete
measures to implement its norms in national legislation.

The transition period in the economic, social and
political life of our society led to the elimination of the state’s monopoly on
ensuring gender equality, and women found themselves in an open environment
with completely different conditions with regard to equality in a space rich in
opportunities, but also without dangers. The transitional process deprived
women of part of their previous achievements in employment and social security.

Tender policy is a combination of concrete measures
and actions in achieving personal, social, cultural, political and economic
equality of men and women, equality and expansion from the possibilities of
life choices. An integral part of the gender policy is the identification and
elimination of legal, economic, political, cultural and other barriers that
impede the achievement of equality. Therefore, the achievement of de facto
equality of men and women is a long-term process, during which the social,
cultural, political and economic norms of society must undergo substantial
changes

Appreciating the place and role of women in the
political life of the society, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan
stresses: “A society that cares about a woman mother secures its future. A
state that does not care about a woman who is a continuer of life has no future”.
Therefore, the analysis and development of acute problems of the place and role
of women in political life acquires an actual theoretical and practical
significance.

 

Research Questions

 

1.       What is current local government policy
situation regarding the women’s representation in local government in
Tajikistan?

2.      How
women’s representation in local government is in practice?

 

Research Framework

 

Methodology. In this research both qualitative and quantitative
methodologies were used.

Literature review. A systematic literature search was carried out using
a range of databases / search engines (the main ones being Google, Google
Scholar, Science Direct and etc.) using variations of the terms with a focus to
identify relevant scientific evidence published between 2000 and 2017. Further
material was identified by searching related organization websites and
cross-referencing cited reports. Conference extracts were also examined to
identify additional evidence.

Archival documents, as well as statistical data of the
Ministry of Labor of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Ministry of Culture and
Education of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Ministry of Justice of the
Republic of Tajikistan, which covered information on the dynamics of growth and
development of women’s organizations, educational and cultural level, annual
reports of subordinated institutions and ministries themselves were reviewed.

Titles and abstracts were reviewed for relevance.
Potentially relevant studies were assessed to identify which ones included
relevant evidence appertaining to the projects goals. Key data was extracted
from these studies, evaluated and summarized in this paper.

 

Study Limitations

 

Although this research was carefully prepared, I am
still aware of its limitations and shortcomings.

First of all, the research was conducted within the
framework of small number of available data. It would be better if there was
more reliable data regarding the topic.

Second, the lack of researches in the sphere of local
government and especially women’s presentation in this field was a big
challenge in the making of the paper.

Third, since we were running short of time, it was
difficult to search more reliable data, conduct independent survey and read
more books relating to the local government.

 

Future Study
Recommendations

 

For the future researcher it is recommended to spend
more time in examining in-depth of the reliable data, to search for prior
research studies on the topic in other languages apart from English, Tajik and
Russian languages, and to conduct independent survey and interview as many
people as possible to gain more data to analyze.

CURRENT LOCAL GOVERNMENT POLICY SITUATION REGARDING
THE ISSUE

Local government institutions derive their legal basis
from the Constitution, the Law on Local Public Administration and the Law on
Local Self-government in Villages and Towns.

According to legislation, local governments have a
real financial base. The Constitution grants local governments the right to
develop and implement their own budgets and to establish local fees, taxes and
duties. In addition, the Law on Local Public Administration allocates income
tax to local budgets, to be utilized for the social needs of the territory in
keeping with the Law on Social Insurance.

The Law on Local Public Administration defines the
governing principles and functions of local self-government in Tajikistan.
According to this law, local self-governments are institutions of legislative and
executive authority elected by the citizens of a given administrative
territory. These institutions freely and independently govern the community,
serving the needs of the local population in accordance with the Constitution
and legislation. The main principles of local self-governance include:

• coordination of local and national interests;

• direct citizen participation in local council
elections, referenda and public hearings;

• the accountability of local self-government
institutions and their employees to the local population;

Tajikistan is one of the first among the CIS countries
to ratify international conventions on the elimination of all forms of
discrimination against women, and on the political rights of women.

The Republic of Tajikistan has ratified and/or
recognized the main international treaties on human rights and the standards
relating to public participation are regulated through several laws at the
national level. The adoption of these normative legal acts can be regarded as
an attempt to create and regulate a democratic and secular state based on rule
of law and a strong civil society where citizens can directly and indirectly
participate in decision making processes.

The rights of women to take part in the conduct of
public affairs are enshrined in the “Law on Public Service”, constitutional
laws on “Elections to the Majlisi Oli (the Supreme Assembly) of the Republic of
Tajikistan” and on the “Elections to local Majlises of People’s Deputies”,
which provide for women equal access to public service for men and
participation in the electoral process.

The problems of the progression of women are
constantly in the focus of President E. Rahmon and the government. An important
role is played by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan of
December 13, 1999 “On measures to enhance the role of women in
society”.

The Government adopted normative legal acts on the
establishment of gender equality:

• “The National Action Plan of the Republic of
Tajikistan on Enhancing the Status and Role of Women for 1998-2005” was
approved, which includes such areas as health, education and training,
combating poverty, protecting women’s rights, preventing violence against women,
women and the environment;

• Rakhmonov E.S. The role of women in society.
“Irfon”, – D., 1997, -C.27. for the preparation and promotion of
women to leading positions in all political and economic structures;

• The State Program “Main Directions of the State
Policy for the Achievement of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Men and Women
in the Republic of Tatarstan for 2001-2010” was approved.

The state policy on ensuring equal rights and
opportunities can not be successful without the equal participation of men and
women in its formation and implementation. All these programs are aimed
primarily at raising the social status of women, their direct participation in
political decision-making, and their social and moral support.

First of all, they provide for strengthening the
legislative and regulatory framework for resolving the problems of women,
changing the situation in the labor market, providing for the possibility of
more effective use of all labor resources, incl. and women, increasing their
competitiveness, creating equal opportunities for the realization of labor potential;
provision of state support to public, non-governmental initiatives, independent
women’s movement.

The Government of Tajikistan condemns discrimination
against women and pursues a targeted policy of eliminating discrimination
against women in all its manifestations.

The Republic of Tajikistan adopted a new Constitution
in a nationwide referendum in November 1994, with subsequent amendments and
additions in 1999 and 2003. The Constitution of the country regulates the
guaranteed protection of human rights and the equality of women and men.

Legislation of Tajikistan is based on the principle of
equality between a man and a woman. From a legal point of view, there are all
guarantees of non-discrimination against women: equality guaranteed by the
Constitution of the country.

Today the woman needs deep knowledge in the field of
law. First of all, all the women of the Republic of Tajikistan should be
informed about the Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention of all forms of
discrimination against women, the Convention on the Political Rights of Women
and all international Acts: on marriage, family, children, youth. This legal
enlightenment of a woman will undoubtedly activate her life position and will
have a beneficial effect on the upbringing of the younger generation. She will
be able to protect her children, and maybe save her from social and economic
cataclysms.

Along with this, a strict system of guarantees for the
protection of the rights and interests of women must be created, taking into
account its current crisis situation.

This system should take into account and reflect the
physiological characteristics of the female body, its genital functions,
provide legal regulation of the labor process and family responsibilities of
women, guarantees of employment of women, especially single, large children,
pregnant women with underage children. It is necessary to provide additional
benefits to female workers; expand the scope of women’s employment; widely
encourage women’s work, enterprise and resourcefulness, the ability to find a
way out of any difficult situations and life hardships and family troubles.

To promote women’s own interests, the media’s position
on these issues is important, as their impact on public opinion and
consciousness is difficult to overestimate. The media in Tajikistan tend to
minimize coverage of events and activities of organizations that reflect the
interests of women. They do not sufficiently inform the population about the
rights and real situation of women in society, about state measures to improve
it.

The importance of international cooperation for the
development of the modern women’s movement is great. Women’s movement limited
the lack of material resources – domestic business is not inclined to give
money for its development, because it does not see authoritative, both public
and political power on it, on one hand, and on the other, the legislative base
does not promote the development of charity in the country.

At the same time, despite all the difficulties, the
women’s movement in Tajikistan lives and functions no worse than any other
social or social movement in the country. It relies on such strengths as a high
educational level of women and a preserved value orientation for working
outside the home, which does not allow the woman to be brought to her knees
through the ideology of “natural destiny”.

It should be noted that the entry of women into power
will not happen by itself. In our opinion, effective work is needed.

Moreover, Government of the Republic of Tajikistan In
accordance with Article 16 of the Constitutional Law of the Republic of
Tajikistan “On the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan”, the
Government of the Republic of Tajikistan decides:

1)      Approve
the National Strategy for Activating the Role of Women in the Republic of
Tajikistan for 2011-2020.

2)      To
determine the Committee for Women and Family Affairs under the Government of
the Republic of Tajikistan as the coordinator for the implementation of the
National Strategy for Activating the Role of Women in the Republic of
Tajikistan for 2011-2020.

3)      Ministries
and departments, executive bodies of state power of the Gorno-Badakhshan
Autonomous Oblast, oblasts, the city of Dushanbe, cities and districts, to
finance this Strategy from the funds provided for in the State Budget for
2011-2020.

The development of the Strategy took into account the
international criteria and norms defined in the Millennium Development Goals,
the UN Declaration on Human Rights, the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women, the Elimination of Violence against Women, the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the
Beijing Platform etc. The basis of the Strategy is the Constitution of the
Republic of Tajikistan, the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On State
Guarantees of Equality of Men and Women and Equal Opportunities for Their
Implementation” the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan
on the State Program of the Republic of Tajikistan “Ordering the Family
and Rights”, “The main directions of the state policy on ensuring
equal rights and opportunities for women and men in the Republic of Tajikistan
for 2001-2010 “dated 8 August 2001, No. 391,” Education, selection
and placement of leading cadres of the Republic of Tajikistan from the number
of la capable women and girls for 2007-2016 years “of 1 November 2006, No.
496 and other relevant regulatory legal acts.

The main purpose of the Strategy is to create
prerequisites and necessary conditions for the fullest realization of the
natural abilities of women in all spheres of social life with a view to
ensuring sustainable development of society. Its importance increases with the
improvement of the political system of society and the development of
democratic institutions, institutions of civil society.

WOMEN’S REPRESENTATION IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN PRACTICE

For the period of 2015, women comprise 17.5% of the
deputies of the Parliament of the Republic of Tajikistan (Majlisi Oli and
Majlisi Namoyandagon), 11.6% of the deputies of the regional Majlises of
people’s deputies, 23% of the chairmen of local Majlises of People’s Deputies.
Two of the nine committees of the Majlisi Namoyandagon of the Majlisi Oli of
the Republic of Tajikistan are headed by women.

Women are more represented in local government and
administration: 9% of heads of cities and districts, 34% of deputy chairmen of
cities and districts, 43% of chairmen of jamoats are women. 17 women were
elected to the Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan (Chamber of the
Parliament of the country), of which 1 is the Deputy Chairman of the Majlisi
Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan, 2 are chairmen of committees, 404 women are
elected to local majlises of people’s deputies of regions, cities and districts.

Tajikistan’s legal provisions specify the number of
seats that municipal council have – the councils have to have between 15 and 40
seats, depending primarily on the population size and number of settlements in
the municipality (each village in entitled to, at least, one deputy seat). Even
the smallest size municipal councils thus provide a theoretical possibility for
a number of women to be represented on the council. Local deputies are elected
in single-member electoral districts whose boundaries are drawn on the basis of
the decisions of jamoats (municipalities).

The data for the analysis of the actual situation with
women’s inclusion in local councils that is provided in this paper comes from
the last round of local elections that took place on 1st March 2015. The data
includes observations on the total number of deputies and the number of female
deputies for 427 rural and township municipalities (jamoats) that were in place
at the time of elections.

These observations are a part of a larger data set of
Jamoat Basic Indicators (JAMBI), which includes data on a number of demographic
and socio-economic characteristics of municipalities. The source of most of the
JAMBI (Jamoat Basic Indicators) data is administrative statistics collected on
the local and district levels.

The study uses a number of simple measures such as the
percentage share of female deputies in local councils, and social and economic
indicators of jamoat development to identify basic patterns in women’s
representation and to explore potential factors shaping the levels of this
representation. Data for variables and indicators cited in the brief comes the
JAMBI data set, unless otherwise specified. Summary statistics on the total
number of deputies and number of female deputies elected in the last round of
local elections in March 2015 are provided in Table 1.

As the table indicates, there were 10, 337 local
deputies elected in 427 jamoats (municipalities) in the last round of local
elections. The largest number of deputies were elected in Khatlon, and the
smallest number were elected in the least populous region of the country,
Gorno-Badakhshan. A total of 1, 572 persons out of all deputies, or about 15.2%
of the total deputy corps, were women.

Map 1 provides details on municipal boundaries and the
value of female deputy share for individual jamoats. It allows visual
examination of differences in women representation across different levels of
administrative territorial division. Some jamoats, due to their small
geographic area, do not appear on the map.

CONCLUSION

For many centuries the main purpose of the beautiful
half of humanity was the continuation of the family. The woman acted
exclusively as the guardian of the home, whereas all kinds of contact with the
outside world were assumed by the man. This, naturally, gave him the right to
consider a woman much lower in her status, rule, and treat her accordingly. But
in our time of technological progress, scientific discoveries and feminism, the
situation has radically changed. A woman in a modern society has a completely
different status and vocation, she has other values ??and needs that make it
necessary to reconsider views on the female role in today’s world.

Women’s participation is a cross-cutting issue and
increasing women’s engagement in decision making can greatly contribute to
progress in achieving the wide range of goals envisioned by national
development strategies and the global Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is
difficult to resist highlighting the potential that increasing women’s
representation in Tajikistan might hold for addressing issues that
traditionally receive less attention than, for example, energy generation or
connectivity infrastructure in discussions of the national development agenda.
It is very likely that an increased presence of women representatives in decision
making for a could provide a motivation for addressing issues of social
protection for vulnerable groups, intensifying efforts to combat demotion and
exclusion, and achieving noticeable improvements in the delivery of basis
social services.

Regarding the participation of women at the
decision-making level, there are many problems, but the most important thing
today is to outline noticeable shifts for the active participation of women in the
political life of the society. Today, women are active participants in the
formation of civil society, participate in the activities of political parties,
non-governmental organizations. It is noticeable that women participate in
political processes, including in elections.

Addressing women, President of the country E. Rahmon
said: “In our understanding, you are a mirror of Tajikistan, the degree of
its wisdom and upbringing, moral stability, progressive development, a mirror
of the past, present and future of the nation and state.” 1

For Tajiks from ancient times, the woman embodied the
symbol of good, fertility and keeper of the hearth. Today, her status in
society is even more exalted. She is an active creator of a new society.

During the Civil War in the Republic, our women acted
as active promoters of peace and harmony in Tajikistan. Through their active
participation in the peace process, women have proved that they are an active
creative force of society. In the conditions of independence of reforming the
social and economic sphere, democratization of society, the solution of the
women’s issue required a new approach.

Important factors in the involvement of women in
public life are comprehensive state support, as well as the active
participation of public institutions. Only through joint efforts is it possible
to resolve this issue.