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Feminism is the same everywhere in the world and pursues one goal, but it can have its own characteristics, proceeding from the cultural aspect of societies. In my essay I want to highlight the current situation in my motherland. As early as 100 years ago, women marched and fought for their rights to pay and suffrage. Today we went out and say that we want security for women and girls. The situation with violence and the situation of girls in Kyrgyzstan are getting worse every year.
As an example the tragedy of girl, Burulay showed the absence of defense mechanisms.
From an early age, I never thought about gender inequality. It seemed to me that everyone is equal; it doesn’t matter whether you are a boy or a girl, how old are you, where do you live. But the older I got, the more injustice I began to notice about the female in Kyrgyzstan. I am condescending to wives that they are in the last place in the family hierarchy.
They have to do the dirtiest work. Such events, social movements, are needed because they attract the attention of decision-makers. Some messages on banners today are a bit radical, but that’s how attention is drawn. Moreover, activists note that their main goal is to convey to the public the principle of equal rights for women and their right to freedom. However, they say that they are often under pressure from traditionalists who consider patriarchy a normal state of society and family.
Consequently, the number of women who work in the government currently makes only 8%. If the country is ruled by 92% of men, then, of course, there will be no balance. Human rights organizations fighting for women’s rights are collecting signatures for the petition to bring it to the authorities. It contains several requirements: to ensure equal treatment of women, regardless of social status, to develop inclusive education and increase the number of crisis centers.
Kyrgyzstan is a patriarchal country where gender stereotypes are very strong. A woman is imposed a certain role, which she must fulfill. Being a housewife is not bad, but sometimes women become housewives not of their own free will. When we go to the regions, we ask women what do they do, they often answer us: ‘We do not work, we are housewives.’ In such cases, I think that they should say that they work at home. And to prove this is the most difficult task. When we go to work, we get a salary, but they don’t, although they also do housework. You can feel the difference: how it feels to receive money for your work, and when your work goes unnoticed. Because yesterday a woman cooked manti, a Kyrgyz popular food, and today rice, no bonuses are provided for her, and if provided, then according to our standards and stereotypes – praise and compliments for a delicious dish and hard work.
Perhaps for people who do not understand the essence of feminism, it all looks defiant. But for those who are now marching this event is something unifying. We need to talk and solve problems like domestic violence, public pressure, and, of course, kidnapping. To be perfectly honest feminism is not a social position for me, but a life path and a struggle for our rights and the rights of other women who have the right to equality in all aspects and freedom of choice. Therefore, I want the girls to be treated as well as the boys in the family, so that they would also rejoice at her birth, despite the fifth or tenth in a row. So that girls have equal rights and opportunities. So that they have the right to choose a profession, life partner, appearance.
I dream that every girl, woman in Kyrgyzstan has the opportunity of freedom of choice. If you type in Google the ‘Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms’ or the ‘European Convention on Human Rights’, which is the same thing, you will see articles that entered into force on September 3, 1953. If we draw a parallel with the Central Asian countries and these articles, then I’m afraid we will all cry. Often these boundaries are violated and girls are required to be correct and comfortable, without giving them the right to vote.
I wish that every girl has an elementary and vital choice — the choice of a future profession, the choice of a future husband. So that the girl herself could decide how to look and build her own life. I dream that we would have neither male nor female professions and that when hiring, we would assess professional skills rather than belonging to one gender or another. So that in every girl and woman, people see first of all a personality with their own opinion, rights, and emotions and supported in all endeavors. It seems to me that Klara Zetkin and Rosa Luxemburg dreamed about the same thing as me.
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