International Alert’s research into violence against women and girls in Tajikistan suggests that over 60% of ever-married women aged 15-49 have experienced different forms of spousal violence during their lifetime, including physical, sexual, or emotional violence.
Official figures place this figure at 31%, but it has been acknowledged that this figure is on the rise. In this context, the vulnerability of women living with disabilities and women parenting children with disabilities in Tajikistan increases significantly due to their dependence on caregivers.
The report looks at the role of disabilities in increasing the risk of sexual and gender-based violence and domestic violence, with a focus on the role of disabilities in increasing the risk of sexual and gender-based violence and domestic violence perpetrated against women with disabilities and women parenting children with disabilities in Dushanbe, Bokhtar and Khorog in Tajikistan.
The study targeted women and men between 18-65 living with disabilities or parenting children with disabilities. Field data were collected through 12 focus group discussions (four in each location) divided by age and gender, with men and women living with disabilities or parenting children with disabilities. 30 repeat in-depth interviews were conducted with women and men with disabilities among different age groups, as well as women with children with disabilities.
Women with disabilities are thought to be physically unable to fulfill their gender roles and are considered unattractive to their husbands; it is widely believed that they are incapable of conceiving, carrying, or parenting children or giving birth to disabled children.
Participants reported low education levels, informal employment or unemployment, and physical impairments that restricted individual mobility. Disability significantly reduces women’s economic opportunity, increasing their dependency on family members and caregivers.