Law passed two years ago yet to translate into societal change. Although Tajikistan passed specific legislation to deal with domestic violence in 2012, the problem remains widespread.
Poverty and lack of both education and opportunities affects women in particular. Married women typically live with their husband’s extended family, so domestic violence may be inflicted by their in-laws as well as spouses. Often, husbands are away for extended periods working in Russia, so the wife left behind to live with the in-laws may be seen as a burden.
There are strong taboos against outsiders interfering in family matters, and the victims risk losing everything they have if they report the crime.
“When Tajik women are better educated and in employment, they are less likely going to suffer domestic violence,” according to Sabohat Bobojanova, head of the Gulruhsor women’s centre in Khujand, northern Tajikistan.
Kamar Ahror is a radio reporter in Tajikistan.
This audio programme went out in Russian and Tajik on national radio stations in Tajikistan. It was produced under two IWPR projects: Empowering Media and Civil Society Activists to Support Democratic Reforms in Tajikistan, funded by the European Union, andStrengthening Capacities, Bridging Divides in Central Asia, funded by the Foreign Ministry of Norway. The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of IWPR and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of either the European Union or the Norwegian foreign ministry.