Leadership

We are not ready to talk about rape – Uzbekistan

on
November 16, 2019

i grew up seeing women with eye broozes from their own husbands, some are in my family.

in my secondary school a guy hit me in the eye – was blue for a week

i grew up seeing a dog being killed by a hammer in front of my eyes.

i grew up knowing any second a man can rape me if I am in a wrong time and a wrong place, outside and i could not be in a room with a stranger.

i grew up with fear and anxiety towards men because their behavior, sexism is normalized and any wrong-doing leads to bad reputation = a hammer of shame on my whole family.

i grew up knowing that i could be stolen and turned into a bride….as my cousin did, she had to marry him.

i grew up with a social control as my men in my family knew that another man is a THREAT to my well-being, my VAGINA, family honor. I remained one’s property until getting married so yes a woman is a property as much as her body. Majority women do not own their body or their life.

We care about one’s wedding size more than we care about one’s education, future opportunities, sustainably working towards normal income. Forget about the goals.

They say to a young person: “put your goal forward and pursue it”, “if you can dream it you can do it” For many this goal maybe education, some hobby, a new job and wupti…. you wake up and you hear you may get married: an arranged wedding (you are lucky if you like the person!). Or you can forget about finishing your education, because education contracts are so expensive. Or you have to move back to your hometown where there can be lack of opportunities.

How can you reach a goal living in a major cultural pressure? Where society decides your fate?

As you know, I ran for #inclusiveUzbekistan a first historic half-marathon in Samarkand to support a charity campaign for vision-impaired people and to basically say people with physical or whatever diasbilities are people too and deserve to be part of the cultural life and use the public spaces as well. ->This week there was a brutal rape in my home town.

In this day and age: when 5 guys rape a 26-year-old woman in my home town Karshi, people are commenting: “IT WAS HER OWN FAULT TO BE OUTSIDE IN THE NIGHT. At the same time a French Gérard Depardieu getting his accolades in Bukhara to promote Uzbekistan (wonder how much he gets paid for it!). And what is more important: Uzbek women’s committee is still discuccing how long is a skirt of our female singer Lola and licenses given out to artists. Yet, we are not ready to talk about rape, if it is not in my mahalla or in my backyard – it didnt happen.

You understand why I work on promoting diversity and inclusion here in Finland and in Uzbekistan. There is still a big leap to do to move forwards.

I may die one day, but I surely will know I have tried to bring light to women and men relations and we can be together, we can grow and help each other and by doing so remove gender-based hate and gender-based violence and gender-based ignorance. I so love my people and I still cant figure out why people in the highest power don’t open up to real societal problems and speak as they are. Elections are coming up on 22nd December let’s see how they cover this social ill.

Silence is violence.
Why are you silent? What makes you silent? Privilege? Akward feeling? Fear of loosing face? Fear of hurting other feelings?

We are not ready to talk about rape.

can we please stop cheating and ruining human lives, dreams, hopes, truths of our people by making women more guilty and enemies of the state…!

can we stop normalizing violence, rape, killing animals, cutting trees, corruption?

can we please keep open eyes on real problems.

My call for action to young people: one’s origin or gender is not an obstacle to live a full life. Why? Let’s face it. Just how many teenage girls around the world are allowed to study and more so to study abroad? 18 years from now, we have not moved a meter, as I often hear stories that parents still do not let girls study or to study subjects like cooking, nursery, so they can be better wives.

Some statistics from the world:

More than 1 billion women globally lack legal protection against domestic sexual violence. Source: Women, Business and the Law

Nearly 1.4 billion women lack legal protection from domestic economic violence. Source: Women, Business and the Law

359 million women are not legally protected against sexual harassment in the workplace; 2.2 billion have no legal protection from harassment in public spaces. Source: World Bank

Even where the legal age of marriage is 18 or higher, 139 countries have exceptions allowing girls to marry, perpetuating the problem of child brides. Source: Women, Business and the Law

Source: https://everywoman.org
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