Lost Voices: Central Asian Women Confronting Transition by Yvonne Corcoran-Nantes

By Yvonne Corcoran-Nantes

Because imperative Asia is usually thought of to be the "forgetten global" of the previous Soviet Union, principal Asian ladies represent the "lost voices" inside of these regions.  Corcoran-Nantes considers how the shift to Western capatalist beliefs has affected gender kin in relevant Asia. whereas the uneasy synthesis among socialism and Islam below the Soviet regime provided many girls enormous prestige and private freedom those earnings were swiftly eroded by way of democrazation.

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This process has been consolidated by the alliances and cooperation of                         |  women’s organizations from all the Central Asian republics, culminating in the formation of the Council of Central Asian Women in 1993. In this way Central Asian women prioritized the expansion of contacts and exchange of experiences with women in their own region, with whom they have far more in common. Contacts with the principal women’s organizations and coalitions in Russia have been maintained, but now on the basis of equal standing whereby they attend conferences, exchange ideas and contribute to debate in the forums and congresses that bring together women of the post-communist states.

For wealthy families this was often a mechanism by which they could discourage unsatisfactory ‘suitors’, but for the less well off a high kalym might defer the marriage of sons until a mature age, exacerbating the age difference on marriage of men and women. Tokhtakhodjaeva suggests that there were specific reasons for a pronounced age difference between marriage partners, and that they were ‘usually due to the mercenary interests or ambitions of a bride’s parents or when her family was financially weak or the bride did not have a father’ (1996: 33).

The principal aim was to introduce radical social and economic change, and through a process of ‘social engineering’ attack the fundamental foundation of Central Asian culture – Islam (Blank 1994: 39). In the pre-revolutionary period both Russian and Western observers had consistently described women as the most oppressed members of Central Asian society, and in the post-revolutionary political project this image served to fuel the belief that women were the ‘potential Fifth Column for the Sovietization of Central Asia’ (Massell 1974: 147).

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