Women’s and girls' rights are curtailed in all Central Asian countries and obviously women are not treated equally and are not free to make their own decisions in their lives. Instead, families are generally governed by gender-hierarchical structures. This is reflected, among other things, in widespread violence against women and strong gender roles in daily lives. Despite the fact that Kyrgyztsan have ratified CEDAW and the Beijing Declaration, women are still being discriminated both in private and public spheres. It is common that young girls are talked into marrying someone they do not know, and in some cases, they are kidnapped and subsequently forced to marry their kidnappers. Many of the girls, who marry at a young age, are excluded from opportunities in later stages of their lives, such as opportunity to continue their education or work.
Centralasiengrupperna has several years of experience working with activists for women’s rights in Kyrgyzstan. CAG has witnessed that both violence against women and its acceptance has been increasing to such an extent that it is perceived as normal activity in minds of the general public. Majority of women in the country have experienced some forms of violence. Most cases of violence remain unreported. Domestic violence is often viewed as family business and only a small fraction of all cases that are reported to police result in convictions. Despite improved legislation and tougher punishments for bride kidnapping, at least 12,000 cases of bride kidnapping take place in one year. Out of these, only 700 cases are reported to the police. There are also significant inequalities in political sphere. According to laws regarding composition of the Kyrgyz parliament, at least 30% of seats must be given to female candidates, but when a woman resigns she is replaced by next person on the list, who is usually a man. This situation weakens political will, strengthens patriarchal values in local communities and allows decision-makers to ignore women’s rights.
Some of CAG's activities
- Institutional support to activist groups such as Girl Activists of Kyrgyzstan and Bishkek Feminist Initiative etc.
- Conduction of trainings in cooperation with local partners in southern Kyrgyzstan, who work with young women
- Implementation of comprehensive project on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in Kyrgyzstan
- Participation in campaigns such as Stop Street Harassment and UNiTE to End Violence Against Women