Kyrgyz Villagers Frown on Divorce

Divorced women continue to face condemnation and ostracism in traditional rural communities in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyz Villagers Frown on Divorce

Divorced women continue to face condemnation and ostracism in traditional rural communities in Kyrgyzstan.

Thursday, 19 March, 2009
Reporter Ulukbu Amirova interviewed Gulsara, a woman who moved away from her home village after her divorce. Gulsara made a new life for herself and her two children in the Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek, where she has a job, a home and a car.



Going back is not an option for her.



“They think a divorced women is definitely going to be bad,” she said. “A woman has to live with her husband whatever he’s like. Only women who do that are worthy of respect.”



The reporter also interviewed people in a Kyrgyz village, who were united in their suspicion of women who separate from their husbands.



“Divorced women often start drinking and all kind of things,” said one man. “It’s good to have a husband alongside.”



Such attitudes are not confined to men. A woman said that even if your husband is an alcoholic, you must stand by him. “You can't abandon him or he’ll continue drinking himself to death,” she explained.



“If I’d listened to my neighbours, I’d still be living in the village and going through torment,” said Gulsara. “I’m only sorry I left it so late.”
Kyrgyzstan
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