Dismal situation for women in Turkmenistan
The report "Women: Turkmenistan’s Second-Class Citizens” gives a unique look into the everyday life of women in Turkmenistan.
- Women in many traditional societies are subject to substantial pressure from a range of actors – the state, the family, the society, the spouse, poverty and so on, says Lene Wetteland, Central Asia Advisor in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. However, the authorities’ systematic repression and neglect of citizen’s health and welfare put the women under additional strain in Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan is the country in the former Soviet Union which remains the most inaccessible to international human rights organisations and an ardent violator of human rights. Even humanitarian organisations face severe restrictions in their work and find themselves part of the authorities’ intentional manipulation of statistics if they chose to remain in the country.
There are no organizations, government or civil society organs in Turkmenistan that represents or defends the rights of women of various society levels, national minorities or vulnerable groups. Women remain discriminated against in family life and society, and prospects of obtaining equal rights between men and women remain distant. The strained economic situation for the majority of the population does not create favourable conditions for improvement despite some positive legal reforms. In reality, Turkmen women and men have equality mainly in one field – they are equal to injustice and vulnerable to arbitrariness, from which no one in Turkmenistan is safe.
In addition to being published for general distribution in English, Russian and Turkmen, an unedited version of the report was submitted for the 53rd review session of the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, CEDAW, in October 2012. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/cedaws53.htm
The information in the report has been collected by Turkmen activists and was edited by the NHC. Due to security concerns, the names of the authors are kept confidential.