Living with Dignity: Preventing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Tajikistan
What Works to Prevent Violence
The Equality Institute was engaged by What Works to Prevent Violence to design and edit the Living with Dignity: Preventing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence report. The report summarises the findings of the formative research phase of the ‘Living with dignity’ project, which is part of the broader ‘What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls’ programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
It is based on qualitative field research conducted in the four target villages of the project, two of which were in Penjikent district, and two in Jomi district in Tajikistan, using focus group discussions and in-depth interviews conducted in November and December 2015. The report findings indicate the prevalence of social control and policing of gender norms. For example, young women in Tajikistan are expected to submit to a deferential position vis-à-vis older women and men, and men are expected to be breadwinners and decision makers in the family.
The research also found a high prevalence of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence perpetrated by husbands as well as mothers-in-law against women, which is compounded by social norms that inhibit reporting family matters to outsiders. The report offers recommendations to address the gendered societal dynamics and entry points for violence prevention work. These include working with key gatekeepers such as informal leaders, creating safe spaces for discussing sensitive issues, and working towards reinforcing positive local gender norms. Further, supporting the economic empowerment of women while also engaging men could positively affect women’s economic situations whilst readjusting assigned gender roles.