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Women and gender relations in Tajikistan

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

Record type: Monograph (Project Report)


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

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Published date: 2000


Local EPrints ID: 34179
PURE UUID: 82125d66-9797-4937-8c11-2842621d6039

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Date deposited: 26 Jul 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:51

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