On April 5, a 27-year-old Kyrgyz woman named Aizada Kanatbekova was kidnapped in broad daylight by three men in Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek.
The kidnapping was caught on CCTV. Kanatbekova's family quickly phoned police. And yet almost nothing was done to find her. Two days later, Kanatbekova and her abductor were found dead: she from strangulation and he from suicide, in a car outside of Bishkek.
Days later, a group of women in Bishkek demonstrated against gender violence, only to have their rally broken up by a group of violent men.
A few days earlier, on April 1, the body of 19-year-old Muhlisa Adambaeva was found in Uzbekistan’s western Khorezm Province. She had hanged herself after being beaten by her husband and mistreated by her husband’s family.
Kanatbekova’s attacker had a history of violence that was known to police. And many people knew what Adambaeva had been going through, but local traditions prevented anyone, including her’s immediate family, from intervening.
On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL media-relations manager Muhammad Tahir moderates a discussion about gender violence in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and why officials in those two countries seem unable to effectively combat it.
This week's guests are: from Kyrgyzstan, Kamila Eshaliyeva, a Bishkek-based journalist and author of a recent report about violence against women in Kyrgyzstan; from Uzbekistan, Samrin Mamedova of the NeMolchi.uz organization, which works to end violence against women in Uzbekistan; and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.
Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes or on Google Podcasts.