Gender Roles in Economics

Gender roles in the economy changed during the Soviet period and continue to change in independence. One constant is the division of labor in the home. Women are responsible for cooking, cleaning, taking care of small children, and seeing to clothing. Men take most responsibility for gardening and personal livestock, home repairs, heavy-item shopping, and the family automobile. During the Soviet period, the state promoted labor-force participation for men and women, but women participated less than men, and families expected to rely on the men's income except where men were absent. Gender preferences for occupations arose with the Soviet economy: women entered education, medicine, and textile work more frequently than men; men dominated engineering, politics, and technical professions.

The majority of Uzbeks continue to be rural people who make their primary living from farming. On the collective farm, men dominated technical and management work; women might specialize in the care of small animals, but most often were unskilled farm laborers. Since independence, women and men have been seeking new ways to make a living or at least supplement the meager wages from their official employment. Petty trade and the bazaar dominate commerce in Uzbekistan. Men, women, and sometimes children participate in producing goods for the market and selling them. Women as well as men are involved in long-distance journeys to obtain goods to market, though there is social disapproval of women who travel alone.

Sons and daughters inherit property from their parents, with sons more likely to receive immovable property, the courtyard house, and daughters to receive movable property, jewelry, or furnishings. Among Uzbeks, the youngest son in the family is expected to remain with his parents after marriage, care for them until their death, and inherit their house; older sons move out and establish their own households, and daughters move away upon marriage. If the parents have purchased housing for the elder sons who moved out, and provided a substantial dowry for daughters upon marriage, those distributions of family wealth are seen as equal to the youngest son's inheritance of the family home.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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