Uzbekistan: Women's Work
A market provides a microcosm of part-time, seasonal or informal employment.
Women once formed the backbone of Uzbekistan’s state sector, working predominantly as teachers, doctors and agricultural workers. But after independence in 1991, the economy struggled to adapt to market reforms, forcing the government to slash public service budgets. As a result, many women lost their jobs and employment conditions for those who remained deteriorated.
Most women worked in Soviet times, now around half are officially jobless. Many women are employed in part-time, seasonal work or in the informal sector.
Chorsu, in Tashkent’s old town, is one of the capital’s busiest markets. Here, women of all ages take the opportunity to sell food, household items or knick-knacks – with whatever profits they make going to support their families.