Although there are no official statistics in Uzbekistan, estimates suggest that at least one in three women experience some form of physical, psychological or sexual violence in their lifetime.
However, these estimates hide the majority of cases that remain unreported: a study conducted in Bukhara, an ancient city in Uzbekistan, showed that 56.4% of the population in rural areas considered that gender-based conflicts within families should not be taken outside of one’s home.
ACTED Uzbekistan, working with Makro, Orient Group, created the following video to draw attention to the issue and provide information on the crisis centers and hotlines created to support survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).
Male authority and decision-making power at home are some of the main sociocultural factors causing domestic violence in Uzbekistan. Moreover, traditional patriarchal practices, such as early marriage put women at risk and lower their status in the family. Patriarchal values create a climate of indifference towards women survivors of violence, discouraging them from reporting cases of abuse: women seeking help face victim-blaming or worse; social exclusion.
Rural women have less access to economic opportunities than men and are paid lower wages. The lack of economic independence from their spouses discourages women from seeking alternative living arrangements. Violence and abuse are thus able to continue and escalate without impacting the family unit as the female family members have little choice but to remain.
ACTED Uzbekistan is committed to raising awareness around domestic violence and gender issues in Uzbekistan, implementing four GBV projects funded by European Union (EU), ENGIE Foundation and New Zealand Embassy in Moscow since 2018.
In 2018, ACTED Uzbekistan produced a first video (shown above) to raise awareness and to respond to the urgent need to tackle gender stereotypes conducive to GBV in Uzbekistan. The video was well-received by the public and awarded as the most creative communication idea of 2018 among EU-funded projects.
ACTED Uzbekistan then produced a second video with the financial support of Makro, Orient Group, ACTED’s first private-sector donor in Uzbekistan.
The video depicts a woman who once faced GBV, but found the strength not to let violence into her life anymore. The clip aims not only at raising awareness of gender-based violence in Uzbekistan, but also at spreading the contact information of crisis centers and hotlines.
According to ACTED statistics, the four centres in Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent and Fergana provided 1620 psychological, legal, medical, social and business help in 2020. According to information provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uzbekistan, 14,774 women and girls affected by harassment and violence received a protection Order in Uzbekistan in 2020.