Teenage girls in Kyrgyzstan are expected to take on traditional roles within society. Meanwhile, the level of violence against women and girls remains high despite laws in place designed to prevent it. Bride kidnapping and early marriages are on the rise.
The increase in traditionalist, nationalist and fundamentalist groups in Kyrgyzstan has resulted in attacks on feminist and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) organisations.
Girl Activists of Kyrgyzstan’s mission is to build a feminist network of Bishkek residents, Kyrgyzstani and Central Asian activists. It works to strengthen feminist solidarity and protect feminists. The organisation regularly advocates for meaningful engagement of girls at various national and civil society platforms, and meets weekly to plan its activities in building the feminist community. Girls organise quarterly camps for girl activists around issues such as SRHR, anti-violence, education and career planning, sports, water and sanitation. Girls also run a site where blogs can be submitted anonymously and use social media to reach and educate girls across the country about human rights.
Photos: Elyor Nematov/Stars Foundation.