Governments in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, including law enforcement and justice systems, continue to view and treat gender-based violence (GBV) largely as cultural, traditional and private matter. This leads to poor programming as well as inadequate administrative and criminal sanctions.
This policy paper by Svetlana Dzardanova and Niginakhon Uralova examines the efforts of state, civil society, and international actors in addressing GBV during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
In Uzbekistan, although the government took solid measures to respond to the increasing number of GBV cases, the reshuffling of responsible bodies and figures in the system resulted in uncoordinated action. Similar patterns could be observed in Kyrgyzstan, where the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with political turbulence and economic crisis severely impacted the effectiveness of the state’s response. Local NGOs in both countries, although offering a more holistic approach to help the victims, suffered from a lack of available resources, staff, and competence in fundraising, while facing legislative barriers to operate broadly.