Tajikistan | International Alert
International Alert will work with Tajik NGO partners to build a multi-component project to address underlying factors that condone and contribute to domestic violence in Tajikistan. The project will work to develop economic and business opportunities for women, but will also work with the wider community, including men and influential community institutions to begin wider conversations to shift social norms and gender stereotypes that contribute to an environment that condones violence against women and girls.
Globally, activists and researchers have pointed to the contribution of harmful alcohol and substance use conditions to the occurrence and severity of intimate partner violence (IPV). There has been much debate over the relationship and whether it is truly causal. To date, there has been limited evidence about whether interventions to prevent harmful alcohol use and treat common mental health problems have an impact on IPV outcomes, and whether gender-transformative interventions that seek to prevent IPV can reduce harmful alcohol use and improve mental health. Available evidence on these associations has largely been from the global North. DFID’s What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls Global programme (What Works) has generated new evidence on these associations from evaluations of IPV prevention interventions in a range of settings in the global South, including peri-urban Zambia, rural Rwanda and Ghana, and urban informal settlements in South Africa, with promising findings for IPV prevention.
Mixed-methods evaluation of intervention to prevent violence against women in Tajikistan
The Zindagii Shoista (Living with Dignity) project was implemented by International Alert, Cesvi and three local partners – ATO, Farodis and Zanoni Sharq – in four villages in Tajikistan with 80 families.
It aimed to reduce violence against women and girls (VAWG) through a combination of gender norm, behavioural change and income-generating activities (IGA) over a period of 15 months.
Part 1: Social empowerment
Zindagii Shoista is a workshop series designed to help promote harmony within families and reduce violence. By considering wider family dynamics when working with local communities, it aims to create a socio-economic environment that enables women to enjoy greater protection from sexual and gender-based violence, with a focus on violence against women and girls.
Part 2: Enabling economic empowerment through income generating activities
Zindagii Shoista: Enabling economic empowerment (EE) through income generating activities (IGAs) is a workshop designed to promote families’ understanding of managing household budgets in order to strengthen household economies. Part 2 of the Zindagii Shoista manual, focusing on enabling EE through IGAs, complements the Zindagii Shoista intervention (Part 1) designed to promote gender equity and harmonious partner and family relationships, with the aim of reducing violence against women and girls in Tajikistan.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is widespread throughout Tajikistan, with half of all women experiencing violence at the hands of their husbands or in-laws. Young married women aged 18-24 are especially vulnerable. In response, International Alert and its partners, Action, Development and Prosperity (ATO), Cesvi, Farodis and Women of the Orient worked with the South African Medical Research Council to develop an innovative family-centred social and economic intervention tailored to the specific Tajik context with the aim of combatting VAWG. The approach sought to address the reality of young women marrying into strong extended families and facing violence from their husbands and/or in-laws.
This evidence brief reveals that the intervention successfully reduced the number of young women experiencing violence from both their husbands and in-laws by 50%. The mental health, livelihoods and food security of participating families also significantly improved. These findings support global evidence that gender transformative social change interventions combined with empowerment interventions can have a significant impact on reducing VAWG. Such approaches can also have positive impacts on people’s emotional wellbeing, family dynamics and economic security.
This report presents the evaluation results of a project to curb levels of VAWG in rural Tajikistan, where around 60 per cent of women experience sexual, physical and emotional violence. Baseline research found that drivers include gender norms, social pressure, poverty, food insecurity, mental health issues, and alcohol and substance abuse. The project worked with 80 families across four villages, running weekly sessions to improve behaviours, relationships and communication, and also strengthening , livelihoods and financial management skills. Grants were given, in the form of livestock and equipment, to aid income generating activities, and the report outlines the success in reducing violence and making relationships stronger and more equitable.
Gibbs, A., Corboz, J., & Jewkes, R. (2018). Factors associated with recent intimate partner violence experience amongst currently married women in Afghanistan and health impacts of IPV: a cross sectional study. BMC Public Health, 18(1), 593.
Details of a three-year project currently running across four villages in two districts of rural Tajikistan. The project is working with family units, addressing IPV and domestic violence, and also the impact of disability in experiences of VAWG. Includes research findings and the impact of the intervention.