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Keeping Kyrgyz Women Home


Women migrants are especially vulnerable to dangers including inhumane work conditions, blackmail and extortion, as well as physical and sexual abuse.

Women migrants are especially vulnerable to dangers including inhumane work conditions, blackmail and extortion, as well as physical and sexual abuse.

According to Russia's Interfax news agency, a female member of Kyrgyzstan's parliament recently suggested that women under the age of 22 should be banned from leaving the country for work.

By drafting this bill we are trying to protect them from mental and physical abuse and to guard their honor and dignity," Yrgal Kadyralieva said on April 4.

"Parents have to send their daughters to work abroad. In Kazakhstan, Russia, or any other country, young uneducated Kyrgyz women experience difficulties, working in low-paid jobs, their rights being infringed. It is better to provide them now with proper protection from the woes and put a full stop in this problem before it is too late."

While hundreds of thousands of Kyrgyz have long sought work abroad in Russia or Kazakhstan, recently the proportion of young women leaving to look for work has risen dramatically.

Women migrants are especially vulnerable to dangers including inhumane work conditions, blackmail and extortion, as well as physical and sexual abuse.

Local media have reported on many cases of women migrants being forced into prostitution, often by other migrants.

Russian hospitals also report an increase in babies being abandoned by migrant mothers.

According to the Kyrgyz parliament, at least 230 babies born to illegal Kyrgyz migrants are living in Moscow orphanages. Aigul Tash, a Kyrgyz NGO in Moscow, says the majority of the mothers were victims of abuse or rape by their own countrymen.

Public opinion on the proposed bill varies, with most Kyrgyz believing it's necessary and suggesting a referendum, Interfax notes. Others think the law violates women's rights and women desperate for work will find a way around it anyway.

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