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Social Policy and Development Programme Paper 11: Agrarian Reform, Gender and Land Rights in Uzbekistan

12 Mar 2003

  • Author(s): Deniz Kandiyoti


Based on fieldwork, this paper analyses the gender-differentiated outcomes of post-Soviet agrarian reforms in Uzbekistan. The first section situates the agrarian reform process in the context of the political economy of this transitional Central Asian country. The second section uses enterprise-level data to illustrate two different pathways of farm restructuring. The final section analyses changing livelihood options for rural women.

The paper shows, among other things, that the shift from collective farms to joint-stock shareholding companies has greatly affected women, and has consolidated farm management as a male occupation. It also shows that precarious forms of self-employment in informal trade and services remain the only avenues of alternative income-generation for many. The paper demonstrates that representation of landless or poor rural women’s organized interests remains difficult in a context where neither civil society organizations, nor professional associations or political parties, have any significant presence.

Deniz Kandiyoti is a Reader in the Department of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, United Kingdom.

Order PPSPD 11 from UNRISD (US$ 8 for readers in industrialized countries and US$ 4 for readers in developing and transitional countries and for students).