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.