Women and gender relations in Tajikistan

Falkingham, Jane (2000) Women and gender relations in Tajikistan. Manila, The Philippines, Asian Development Bank


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At Independence in 1991, Tajikistan was the poorest of all the Soviet Republics, with a GDP
per capita of just over $2,000. Despite this, the country had relatively high human
development indicators, reflecting the legacy of social development achieved during the
Soviet period. Life expectancy at birth averaged 70 years and adult literacy was almost
universal. Since Independence, Tajikistan has experienced a major reversal in both economic
and social development. The economic upheaval accompanying transition from a planned to
a market-led economy, and the disruption of traditional trading partnerships and the
withdrawal subsidies from Moscow following the break-up of the former Soviet Union, has
resulted in a dramatic drop in GDP and government expenditure. In addition, the country
experienced a civil war in 1992-1993, followed by a long period of civil unrest.
Under the Soviet system, women enjoyed equal civic rights to men. The levels of labor force
participation of Tajik women was high and political representation was higher than in most
western European countries. However, they have been adversely affected by the lack of
personal security following the war, and the economic impoverishment and declining
participation accompanying both war and economic transition. The transition has severely
affected industries that employ a high proportion of women (textiles, manufacturing,
agriculture), causing them to be among the first to lose their jobs. Other sectors where
women predominate, such as health and education, are those where wages have been least
likely to have been paid. The collapse of the state social safety net has exacerbated the
number of women and families living in poverty, while the loss of quotas guaranteeing equal
representation in political and governmental bodies has increasingly kept them out of
decision-making positions. Furthermore, women and girls are increasingly facing
discrimination in access to education and health care services. There is a growing awareness
of the gendered nature of transition within Tajikistan. However, urgent action needs to be
taken to prevent losing all the advances gained by women under the Soviet system, and to
ensure that both women and men have access to the opportunities afforded within the
emerging economic and social systems

Item Type: Monograph (Other)
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Social Statistics
ePrint ID: 34179
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:01
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/34179

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