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Majlis Podcast: Working To Eradicate Gender Bias In Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan

Women gesture from a police van after they were arrested while protesting against gender-based violence to mark International Women's Day in Bishkek on March 8, 2020.

As Central Asian countries mark International Women’s Day on March 8 this year, it also marks roughly one year since the coronavirus became a global pandemic.

The spread of the virus prompted a series of measures in countries throughout the world, including lockdowns that saw millions of people confined to their homes for periods of time.

Incidents of domestic violence jumped in many places.

Public events were prohibited in many countries, including rallies in Central Asia to raise awareness of gender violence and promote equal rights were restricted, so many advocacy groups for women’s rights shifted their message to social networks and other media to continue fighting for women’s rights in the patriarchal societies of Central Asia.

On this week's Majlis Podcast, RFE/RL media-relations manager Muhammad Tahir moderates a discussion on what has changed in the last year, the challenges that remain, and what is being done to bring gender equality to the region and end violence against women.

This week's guests are: from Bishkek, Natalia Nikitenko, a deputy in Kyrgyzstan's parliament; from Tashkent, Irina Matvienko, journalist, rights defender, and founder of, an organization fighting to end violence against women; from Washington, Jasmine Cameron, a senior staff attorney at the Human Rights Center of the American Bar Association, which published a recent report about violence against women in Kyrgyzstan, and Bruce Pannier, author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.

Majlis Podcast: Women's Day In Central Asia
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About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.​

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.


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