Uzbekistan is a landlocked central Asian country that won its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. In 2009, the per capita gross domestic product was $2,800, with one-third of the population living below the poverty line. The leading ethnic group is Uzbek (80 percent) with minorities including Russian (5.5 percent), Tajik (5 percent), and Karakalpak (2.5 percent). Islam is the most common religion (88 percent), followed by 9 percent Eastern Orthodox.

In 2009, the World Economic Forum ranked Uzbekistan in the middle range of countries on gender equality. On the Gender Gap Index where 0 means inequality and 1 means perfect equality, Uzbekistan scored 0.691 overall, 58th among 134 countries. On health and survival, Uzbekistan scored 0.997 (64th); on educational attainment, the country ...

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