What is gender?

Gender is a concept that used to be quite alien to Central Asian societies due to strong beliefs in biological determination of gender roles (women who give birth are supposed to take care of children and home while men who are physically stronger, should take care of women and children by providing food and shelter). The economic instability after collapse of the Soviet Union brought a challenge to traditional gender roles and perceptions of how men and women should behave. This blog looks at the situation in Kyrgyzstan through a gender lense.

4 thoughts on “What is gender?

  1. privet genderstan,

    Welcome to the network of genderblogs! We linked your site to our blog “salon 21” and hope you do the same. So who are we?

    Since 1989, the discussions on the history of women and gender relations (roles) in Europe have become more polyphonic. Our knowledge of national and regional histories has broadened, just as much as the problems common to Europe have changed. As new political borders arise, researchers recognise the many socio-political changes and draw new contours on a moving landscape. European women’s and gender history is experiencing a new dynamic. A broad and varied program is thus unfolding.

    Within this process, the research platform repositioning of women’s and gender history
    established at the University of Vienna makes it possible to comment on the process, to preserve the range of memories, to network and to initiate research which transcends national and other borders.

    The international journal “L’HOMME. Z. F. G. ”,
    http://www.univie.ac.at/Geschichte/LHOMME/ ,
    the Collection of Women’s Estates “Sammlung Frauennachlässe ” linked to the project on “Sprache und Erinnerung in Frauentagebüchern des 20. Jahrhunderts ” (Language and Memory in Women’s Diaries in the 20th Century)

    as well as the establishment of international networks in Salon 21
    are the three main pillars of the research platform.
    Networking is one of the most important aims of the research platform “Repositioning of Women’s and Gender History”.

    The Salon 21, a true hommage to the salons of the 18th and early 19th century favours different means of discussion and networking though. Set in a virtual space it is a constant reminder of the 21st century. Salon 21’s devices offer the possibility to announce and present events, conferences, workshops and seminars (in the conference languages and, if not identical, in German or English) as well as to publish call for papers, reports, and comments. Moreover the salon should be a discussion fore. Under the heading “discussion and comments“ you’ll find some space to further your research or to engage in civil society.

    Best regards,
    Do Arztmann
    for the researchplatform women’s and gender history

  2. Hello,
    I’m just finding your blog and it is fascinating. I am an American who just adopted a baby girl from Tokmok. I have a personal concern for the sexual politics regarding single, pregnant women. I’d like to know more about this. Maybe you can post about this topic.


  3. Hi, Tina!
    Thanks for your comments, I will be searching for more information on single pregnant women. I worked in a research project about women’s health and interviewed pregnant women. Just from the top of my head: pregnant women are expected to be married, if they are not, even the doctors scold them about it. And it’s a shame for the family if a daugther is not married and pregnant.
    Enjoy being a mom to a Kyrgyz child, good luck and thanks for having her in your life. I spent about 6 months helping an at an orphanage for toddlers, the conditions there were horrible. I so appreciate when the babies are adopted.

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