Aziza Abdirasulova: Kyrgyz traditions are good for women

Aziza Abdirasulova

Aziza AbdirasulovaThe figure of Aziza Abdirasulova is often associated with women’s movement because she is herself a woman and an activist. I know her since 2000 when she was protesting results of parliamentary elections, making protests against de-registering Daniyar Usenov, then a candidate for an MP seat. She brought food and water to the protests, helped to release prisoners of conscience and cried over the results of recent elections saying that they went dirty and she is ashamed.

Yet… Abdirasulova was among people to publicly denounce the book for teachers about healthy lifestyle which contained information about how to use a condom. Recently she commented about the gender situation in Kyrgyzstan.

Quoted from  (verbatim translation from Russian):

“In life we [women] have more rights than men, this has been around for centuries. In Kyrgyz traditions women were never persecuted or pressured and they rights were not violated. Our [Kyrgyz] men always respected their women and mothers. A girl would always be considered as a guest who would in the future leave her native home and stay with another family. Young women who got married and moved to other families were honored. They did not suffer from lack of attention and always had support both in material and moral terms. That’s why based on this right now in Kyrgyzstan I do not see such phenomena as gender inequality of violation of rights. I personally have never felt discrimination based on gender. And in general why aren’t we talking about  violation of men’s rights, it’s gender as well?! So you say gender, gender, I am against this kind of talks. The fact that there are few women in the parliament and state apparatus depends on us ourselves [women]. We have to solve our problems. Women have all the oppostunities to protect their rights in lawful way. There are a lot of legislation provisions on this issues but women do not use these norms.” 

4 thoughts on “Aziza Abdirasulova: Kyrgyz traditions are good for women

  1. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Kyrgyzstan: Kyrgyz traditions are good for women

  2. I find it troubling that this so-called activist of women’s movement doesn’t want to admit existing gender inequality in contemporary Kyrgyz society. She doesn’t say a single word about oppressive gender roles and social norms that are accepted and are still being followed by the Kyrgyz. Yeah, there are a lot of provisions, conventions on gender equality signed by Kyrgyzstan, however they are not valid and implemented in life. I am wondering why she has not mentioned a barbaric Kyrgyz tradition like “bride-kidnapping” that is still being practiced by Kyrgyz males. If someone wants to learn more about “honorable” Kyrgyz traditions towards women, you can write to me. I am Kyrgyz and I know how Kyrgyz men can be cruel to their wives.

  3. J, I agree with you, this is precisely why I translated her quote. She is NOT an activist of women’s movement, she is usually fighting against torture and for human rights. My concern is that she is not connecting human rights with gender inequality, does not see the similarities between torture by the police and torture of women in Kyrgyz homes.

  4. Pingback: Kyrgyz Ombudsman elections: three candidates and scary future. « GenderStan

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