The state claimed to have achieved near-universal literacy among men and women decades earlier.
Though the Central Asian republics as a whole lagged behind the other Union republics in the number of persons indigenous to those territories with higher education, these figures moved closer to gender parity, with women comprising 41 percent of students enrolled in higher education.
Politicians and public figures began to call for a return to "traditional" roles for women, a stance that women's activists decried as decidedly "anti-woman," believing that it was designed to drive women out of the labor force and higher education and back into the home.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, assertions of Uzbek "national tradition" came into immediate conflict with those elements of the Soviet legacy that promoted women's equality.
Based on these findings, Human Rights Watch is making a series of recommendations to the Uzbek government, to Western governments and multi-lateral donor agencies. In particular, Human Rights Watch is urging the government of Uzbekistan to take measures to ensure that domestic violence is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and to pass legislation without delay to criminalize stalking and marital rape. Seeking to transform what they viewed as the feudal social order in Central Asia into a socialist one, the Bolsheviks sought allies among the region's women, who they assumed would flock to support the new regime that promised women's emancipation.
The authorities should also take special care to ensure that women subject to or at risk of domestic violence have full access to community social services and material support, and to civil remedies, such as divorce. In 1927, the Soviet government launched what it termed the hujum, or offensive, against all traditional, patriarchal social practices deemed oppressive to women, including the marriage of underage girls, brideprice, and the most visible symbol of this oppression, the veil.
Uzbekistan's post-Soviet development, like that in most of the former Soviet Union, has entailed enormous and disproportionate obstacles to women's realization of their human rights. I was wearing only a light dress, and the children were very lightly dressed.
Surveys in the early 1980s reported that Uzbek families aimed, on average, to have 5.58 children, far outpacing ethnic Russian expectations of 2.02 children per family.Though some women of the older generation continued to veil, by the end of World War II veiled women became an increasingly rare sight.By the 1980s, the Soviet modernization drive in the region had produced paradoxical results.All of these sources agreed to tell their stories only under conditions of complete anonymity, in the case of the victims, for fear of being singled out within their communities, and in the case of officials, for fear of political repercussions. Jadid approaches to the "woman question" focused on equality and secular education for women as a necessary step for the renewal and progress of the nation.Therefore, all information on the location of the interview, including even the province where the interview took place, is withheld, and all of the names of the witnesses in this report are given as pseudonyms. The beatings happened at least one time each month. They fought against the conservative elements in society that, in reaction to the Imperial Russian conquest of the region in the 1860s-70s, had tended to reinforce traditional forms of female seclusion and veiling.This position is further complicated by the government's contradictory stance toward Islam, which it also promotes as a facet of national culture and identity, but suppresses when it challenges state authority.Statements by government officials portray Islam on the whole as an encroaching threat to women's exercise of their rights, ignoring facets of the region's own Islamic heritage, such as the jadid movement, supportive of female emancipation.Nevertheless, domestic violence remains a serious problem, against which the government has failed to take effective measures. I saw his sister on the street, and I ran up to her with the children. The neighbors brought us warm clothes for the children... Then he picked up the teapot full of hot boiling water and threw it on me too as I was cleaning. Two men came into the courtyard but I said that I would not leave.On the contrary, state policies intended to keep families together and foster community assistance to those families experiencing conflict have compounded the situation of women facing abuse in the home, and often prevent them from obtaining either relief or redress. I told my parents, and they went to him and said that he should stop. They decided that we should live separately without my mother-in-law. For a year we were happy..he began to beat me again. I ran, and he followed me and yelled at me saying I should never come back. I cannot go back to my parents again with three children.Those who commit physical abuse rarely face criminal prosecution. My brother's wife made food and tea, but I could not eat anything. But I got worse again, and they took me back to the hospital. I think that my husband went to the precinct police station and agreed to something with them. Uzbekistan's government has exploited the rhetoric of women's rights as proof of the nation's modernity in the process of forging a new national identity.Instead, local authorities, under orders from central government officials, attempt to reconcile married couples, often sacrificing the women's safety for low divorce statistics. Contradictory streams of government rhetoric, however, have sent mixed policy messages, since government also points to women's "traditional" role as the touchstone for its cultural heritage.