Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Innovative approaches to challenge cultural practices by Chechen NGO's.

There are many problems in this culturally very diverse country, like polygamy, early marriage, honour killing and the most urgent: violence against women. Different emotional personal stories were told. One true story was about honour killing. In a village of 300 families in the south of Chechen an incredible number of 13 women were killed by honour killing. And the total number of these killings is increasing. The killers are not prosecuted and family members often agree with the murder. In this mainly islamic country they see a revival of old traditions. For example to be seen at the number of causes of genital mutilation.


One of the problematic circumstances is that problems should stay at home. Furthermore, women have low education and there is high illateracy resulting in dependence of women on men and women staying at home. Women do not have the resources of surviving by themselves and are afraid of the future if they would leave their husband. So, they are captured in their violent home situation.

Two wars in the last decade have extended the level of violence in people. Totalitarian regimes with personal agendas and no attention for women from government or institutions, make it even more difficult. Women organizations try to do something about it together. NGOs are a new phenomenon in the country but they are more and more collaborating. Ther is now a Women's NGO Network. Lawyers, psychosocial workers, and others are giving assistance and information to women in different centers. But women are afraid to ventilate their problems. Lawyers are now trying to get trial processes for women rights. Hopefully this will mobilise the policy makers to do something about the position of women in Chechen...

Josette Dijkhuizen, Women's Representative to the UN General Assembly, The Netherlands









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