Yesterday evening Euronews reported about the riots of Muslims who were protesting against women receiving the rights to inherit property equally to men in Bangladesh. It was the first time that I actually realized that globally women’s struggle for equal rights will take dozens if not hundreds of years. It was maybe a hundred of women marching, some of them had severe scars on their faces after men who proposed to them spilled acid on them. Men were throwing rocks and screaming. Rather a strange picture for a post-Soviet person, women against men walking on the streets.
I hope that Kyrgyzstan will never turn to Sharia law which is the justification that they use in Bangladesh.
Today I acutely felt the differences between mainstream gender NGOs and gender NGOs working with stigmatized communities like sex workers or lesbian women. CEDAW reports that come from Kyrgyzstan hardly include the latter groups and the people working for putting together the reports usually come from mainstream NGOs e.g. working with ‘normal’ women. A normal woman would be a young woman, probably married, probably with one or two or three children and probably in need of support in terms of a mini-credit or legal support in case she is divorcing or shelter/consultation in case she is living with an abusive partner. The usual approach to this ‘normal’ woman is victimizing, she does not sound like an agent in the reports but rather as somebody who is a recipient of care and support.
The ‘other’ women are not present in the mainstream reports or discussed in one sentence because it is a requirement (‘the number of sex workers under 16 years old has increased due to harsh economic situation’ or ‘criminal code mentions forced lesbian sexual contacts as grounds for longer rape sentence’).
This post is rather a short though on the larger reports, I will be looking at the texts soon and posting more in detail about some of the interesting mismatches in the reports.