Activists, women's rights experts, and politicians across Central Asia are raising awareness about the problem of domestic violence against women. A recent event organized by the IWPR and the Tajik state committee for women and family affairs was held to collaborate on drafting protective legislation and other actions to end violence against women.
Gender experts attribute the practices of polygamy, underage marriage, and bride kidnapping in Central Asian countries as major factors in the issue of domestic violence. They also conclude that the lack of legal action against these acts of abuse makes it more difficult to stop them.
The data available on domestic violence cases only represents the small number of women who seek help. Other statistics may illuminate the problem of domestic violence further. For example, according to information provided by Central Asia Human Rights Reporting Project there were 108 cases of suicide and attempted suicide by women in the Khatlon region of Tajikistan last year and 52 were related to domestic violence.
Domestic violence has been traditionally seen as a private issue that should not be addressed by the government. Governments have now become more open to discussing and addressing issues of domestic violence. This increased government awareness and the work done by women NGOs supported by international organizations has led to a greater number of women using crisis centers in response to domestic violence.
Compiled From: Central Asia’s Vulnerable Women, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, WUNRN, (27 April 2011).