'Nobody beats an obedient woman': state and non-state responses to violence against women In Tajikistan
This study explores the issues of subordination of women in Tajikistan through studying the phenomenon of violence against women. This study presents a socio-legal analysis of the responses of state and non-state institutions and how the justice system works for women, this study engaged in the feminist discourse on women’s individual experiences of violence, the ‘woman question’ in public and private, the construction of law and its effect on women and their subordinate position and how the laws and the legal and executive mechanisms construct the culture of inferiority of women in society. It employed qualitative methods of data collections, such as interviewing and participant observation along with a questionnaire. It draws on theoretical studies and the empirical work conducted in Tajikistan to present its findings. Theoretical input allows drawing on explanations and experiences provided in studies of VAW in other societies and empirical input allows placing them within the context of Tajikistan. This gives an opportunity to explore the interplay between hierarchical and structural basis of gender relations and women’s individual experiences of violence.\ud This study explores the power of societal norms and values pertaining women’s subordination and male domination on individuals’ perceptions of VAW and their responses to it. It analyses the socio-economic and legal context in Tajikistan and its influence on women’s daily lives. This context also determines the choices women victims of violence are given and impacts women’s decisions whether or not to seek solutions. The study establishes that the focus on increasing awareness of legal rights, or introducing new laws and making changes in the law, cannot in themselves provide women with long-awaited responses to the violence they experience. Changing the law, introducing well-developed law would be significant step forward but has to be accompanied by measures to bring a fundamental shift in attitudes. This study emphasises that the responses should encompass a number of initiatives and presents some examples of these.
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