women's rights

Azerbaijani Teacher Fired After Call for Peace with Armenia

In late December, a group of men from a nationalist organization broke...

Azerbaijan’s Pre-Soviet Independence Embroiled in Post-Soviet Polemics

In 1918, Azerbaijan became the first democratic and secular republic in the...

Azerbaijan Wrestles with Rising Iranian Influence

Azerbaijan’s government is growing increasingly concerned about what it sees as growing...

Kyrgyzstan: The Quiet Success of an Islamic Woman’s Group

Every week, hundreds of women trickle in and out of Dilyarom Hamrakulova’s...

Uzbekistan: Gay Couple Arrested for Engaging in Illegal Relations

Two gay men have been arrested in Uzbekistan and face charges of...

Kyrgyzstan: Ex-Mufti’s Second Wife Sparks Polygamy Debate

A prominent religious authority in Kyrgyzstan has admitted to taking a second...

Armenia: Watered-Down Domestic Violence Law “Insulting to Women”

Armenia’s government has presented its final draft of controversial legal reforms aimed...

Tajikistan: Opposition Figure Attacked by Mob

One of the few opposition figures still remaining in Tajikistan was assaulted...

Uzbekistan: Without Forced Labor, Who’ll Pick the Cotton?

Uzbekistan’s government has traditionally characterized cotton-picking as hashar, a term for voluntary...

Gender and the Bolsheviks: A Contested Legacy

Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, one of the most contested...

Central Asia and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Look at the Balance Sheet at the Centennial

Although it happened thousands of miles away, and did not reflect any...

Astana’s Plan to Stay Warm in the Winter? Build a Ring of One Million Trees

In 1997 the Kazakh president launched a plan to protect his new...

Armenia: EU Officials Making Tactical Retreat in Values War

Armenia’s government has introduced long-awaited legislation to ban domestic violence, an issue...

The Kremlin’s Internet Master Bears Down

A previously obscure Russian oversight body has been turned into the government’s...

Abkhazia: Memory of War Still Looms Large

Abkhazians will commemorate Victory Day on September 30, marking the day in...

Police Arrest Dozens of Gay Azerbaijanis After Reported Raids

Police have detained dozens of gay and transsexual people in Azerbaijan following...

Has Turkmenistan Learned to Love Dogs? (Hint: No)

Turkmenistan loves sports, so this unusually despotic nation’s attempt to garner some...

Tajikistan’s Government Lays Down Rules on What Not to Wear

On the afternoon of August 3, police officers and other officials descended...

Uzbekistan: Once-Prosecuted Photographer Gets Tashkent Exhibition

In 2009, prosecutors in Uzbekistan filed a criminal case against renowned photographer...

Georgian Women March against Misogyny and Racism

An ethnically diverse historic neighborhood in Tbilisi has become the battlefield for...

Tajikistan: Authorities Go After Relatives of Opposition

A crackdown in Tajikistan that began in 2015 has forced large swaths...

Uzbekistan and Polygamy: New Love and Broken Hearts

Jalil Buriyev left Uzbekistan for Russia two decades ago, when he was...

Kyrgyzstan: Male MPs Ditch Parliament During Discussions on Women’s Rights

When it came time to discuss the rights of women and girls...

Tajikistan: Taking State Snooping to the Next Level

For the past few weeks in Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital, teams of officials...

Putin Pop: A Guide to Russia’s Most Patriotic Music Genre

A music critic once argued that Vladimir Putin-inspired songs are the worst...

Georgia Fears Reputation for Hospitality at Risk over Azerbaijani Journalist's Kidnapping

Many Georgians perceive the recent kidnapping of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli from Tbilisi as...

As Islamic Games Open, Azerbaijan Wrestles With Muslim Identity

With an opening ceremony rich in pageantry, Azerbaijan welcomed athletes and tourists...

Tajikistan: Journalist Fined, But Authorities Won't Say for What

A court in Dushanbe has fined a journalist with Ozodagon online news...

Kyrgyzstan: President Bolsters Protections Against Domestic Violence

Kyrgyzstan has in a landmark decision adopted legislation designed to provide greater...

China Mimics Central Asian States, Bans Long Beards in Restive Region

Chinese President Xi Jinping called recently for the creation of a “great...

Yes, We Can’t! The Apathetic Business of the Armenian Elections

When voters re-elect an incumbent, it usually means the country is on...

Searching for Putin’s Swedish Friends

Dissatisfied with the mainstream media, Sweden’s old left and alt-right find common...

Azerbaijan: Government Escalates Hacking Campaign Against Dissent

Several of Azerbaijan’s primary independent news websites have been inaccessible for several...

Belarus: Is Showdown Looming in Minsk?

A mass rally against a tax on unemployment is scheduled to take...

Caucasus Women Demand Power, Not Flowers

In the South Caucasus, International Women’s Day is still largely about men...

Kyrgyzstan: Women March for Their Rights

Dozens of people in Kyrgyzstan’s two main cities used the occasion of...

Why Georgian Women Need Rights Instead of Flowers

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th. In Georgia, many women...

Georgia: PM Stokes Debate About Discrimination and the Sex Industry

In the heart of Tbilisi, not far from luxury hotels and high-end...

Kyrgyzstan: Bride-Training TV Show Divides Audiences

A reality TV show on a state broadcaster in Kyrgyzstan is raising...

Armenia: Is Concern About Domestic Violence a Liberal Value?

Legislation aimed at preventing domestic violence in Armenia has been scuttled after...

Turkmenistan: Election Spectacle Hides Disturbing Economic Decline

Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov – Turkmenistan’s car-racing, horse-riding, operation-performing, book-publishing and singing-songwriting president –...

Trump: Making Russia Great Again

How did Russian media cover the U.S. inauguration?...

Uzbekistan: Female Day Laborers Open Window on Unemployment Problem

Early every day, groups of women dressed in vividly colored overcoats muster...

Armenia: Boosting Female Presence in Army

It took some time for Lusine Poghosian’s male classmates to adapt to...

Uzbekistan: Video Sparks Homophobia Debate

Social media in Uzbekistan was set abuzz this week after a video...

Uzbekistan: Hard-Pressed Population Unimpressed by Election Fanfare

When Uzbek citizens go to vote in a special presidential election on...

Georgia: Courts Appear Reluctant to Tackle Hate Crimes

Fatima Romanova wears an understated black shirt and brown pants, but a...

Can Taylor Swift Help Keep Afghanistan Moving Forward?

Proliferating blast walls and security checkpoints have transformed the Afghan capital, Kabul,...

Kyrgyzstan: Parliament Outlaws Underage Islamic Marriages

Lawmakers in Kyrgyzstan narrowly passed a draft law on October 5 to...

Tajikistan: Officials Need Permission to Leave Country

In what looks like a move to tighten the screws yet further...

Azerbaijan: Dubbing Critics as “Islamic Extremists”

Authorities in Azerbaijan are trying to erase the line between legitimate dissent...

Kyrgyzstan: Historical Debate Straining Ties with Russia

In the countryside surrounding Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek, lots of towns and villages...

Kazakhstan: Sex Workers Call for Legalization of Prostitution

Sex workers in Kazakhstan want to make the world’s oldest profession a...

Azerbaijan: Growing Number of Citizens Heading Abroad for Medical Care

Just about everyone in Azerbaijan has heard scary tales about the country’s...

Uzbekistan: Samarkand Street Sweepers Strike Back

Armed with only the tools of their trade, a group of more...

Guns of August: Fears of Full-Scale War Return as Casualties Mount in Ukraine

Maryinka, Ukraine -- Framed by a tiny cutout in the fortified bunker,...

Georgia: Women Taking Action Against Domestic Violence

Georgian government initiatives, including legislation to criminalize domestic violence, appear to be...

Kyrgyzstan: President Takes No Hostages in Rambling Presser

In his latest marathon press conference, Kyrgyzstan’s president spoke in favor of...

Georgia’s Olympic Team: Overdressed for the Occasion?

Georgia will field one of the most conservatively and warmly attired teams...

Kyrgyzstan: President Throws Weight Behind Anti-Veil Posters

The controversy surrounding a series of billboards in Kyrgyzstan’s capital that condemned...

Kyrgyzstan: Shock Billboard Sparks Religious Debate

Residents of Kyrgyzstan’s capital woke up on July 13 to find stark...

Armenia: Axe Attack Revives Calls for Domestic Violence Law

A fatal child-custody fight has revived calls in Armenia for an effective...

Kazakhstan: Celebrity Beating Puts Spotlight on Issue of Domestic Violence

Pop music producer and actress Bayan Yessentayeva may not be the most...

Armenia: Pope Francis Impacts Politics

Pope Francis visited Armenia to promote the values of peace and reconciliation,...

Azerbaijan: What Is the Ombudsperson’s Role in Human Rights?

With the June 17-19 Formula One race in Baku drawing closer, Azerbaijani...

Angered at Arms Sales to Azerbaijan, Armenians Push Away from Russia’s Embrace

When Armenia joined the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union in 2015, Armenian President...

Kazakhstan: Land Commission Trudges On Amid Arrests

A public commission set up in Kazakhstan as an attempt to defuse...

Azerbaijan: Reporter Khadija Ismayilova Free, Forty and Back in Business

The hard-won release from prison of Azerbaijani investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova has...

Kyrgyzstan: MPs Say No to Banning Underage Islamic Marriage

Lawmakers in Kyrgyzstan have provoked outrage in some quarters by rejecting proposals...

Georgia: A Fight Over Family on Family Day

Rockford, Illinois is 5,959 miles (9,590 kilometers) and a total mindset away...

Uzbekistan: Labor Migrants Looking Beyond Russia

When spring arrives, countless working-age men and women in Uzbekistan have traditionally...

Russia: Young, Russian, Gay, and Pro-Putin

Why do many Russian LGBTQ members support Putin’s presidency?...

Kyrgyzstan’s Beacon of Tolerance Under Threat From Manufactured Kremlin Homophobia

We knock again, hard. But still there is no sound of anyone...

Rights Watchdog Condemns 'Forcible Return' of Uzbeks from Russia

Amnesty International is accusing Moscow of "lending a helping hand" to torture...

Karabakh: The Anguish of Conflict Lingers for Civilians

Now that the fighting has subsided in the contested territory of Nagorno-Karabakh,...

Uzbekistan: Police Caught on Film in Face-Stamping Incident

A video uploaded to Internet showing a police officer in Uzbekistan stamping...

Tajikistan: Fashion at Heart of Anti-Islamic Culture War

Even with his country falling into economic ruin, the deputy head of...

Can Karabakh Pull Back from the Brink?

After a long simmer, the Nagorno-Karabakh war has once again boiled over....

Kyrgyzstan: Murky Deals Remain Norm in Parliament

In the months following the cleanest elections ever held in Kyrgyzstan, several...

No Sex in Advertising Please, We’re Uzbek

A draft bill in Uzbekistan is pursuing a markedly puritanical line with...

Georgia: ISIS Commander Omar al-Shishani's Father Questions if Son Dead

The elderly father of the Georgia-born, ISIS senior commander known as Omar...

Kyrgyzstan: Self-Styled Moral Guardians Operating with Impunity

A video now circulating on social media platforms in Kyrgyzstan is highlighting...

Tajikistan: Prayer Rooms Targeted for Demolition

In authorities’ ongoing efforts to restrict private expressions of religious devotion in...

Georgia Scraps "Blasphemy Bill"

Georgia has dropped a proposed anti-blasphemy bill ardently opposed by freedom-of-speech activists....

Uzbekistan: Karimov Calls Homosexuality Vile Western Phenomenon

Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov has joined in with the chorus of gay-bashing...

No Room for Humor

How one journalist used satire to cover the 2013 Russian law against...

Tajikistan: Age Limit for Hajj Increased

Fresh from President Emomali Rahmon’s visit to Mecca, the government in Tajikistan...

U.S. Bill Seeks Sanctions on Azerbaijani Officials for 'Appalling' Rights Record

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. lawmaker has introduced legislation that would deny U.S....

Kazakhstan: Grassroots Movement Tilts Against Windmills of Injustice

Olesya Khalabuzar goes about her daily business under the formidable, blindfolded figure...

Jailed Azerbaijani Activist Arif Yunus Released From Jail, But Can't Leave Baku

BAKU -- Human rights defender Arif Yunus, whose case attracted worldwide attention...

Kyrgyzstan: Government Slow to Respond to Domestic Violence

After sustaining severe beatings from her partner, Asya telephoned the police, seeking...

Turkmenistan: Homes Wrecked to Make Way for Sporting Venue

A report by Amnesty International accuses authorities in Turkmenistan of an unprecedented...

What’s Behind Tajikistan’s Web Woes?

“We have the Internet!” the receptionist at Kulyab’s newly opened Chanor Hotel...

Azerbaijan to Sue French TV for Calling Ilham Aliyev a "Dictator"

Azerbaijan plans to take French public television channel France 2 to court...

Azerbaijan: Can Segregated Beaches Be “Positive Discrimination”?

The contrast between the Azerbaijani government’s secular orientation and the country’s increasingly...

Azerbaijan: Is It Time to Consider Sanctions?

Some regional experts want the United States and European Union to consider...

Grisly Murder in Tajikistan Reveals Tensions in Family Ties

From Tajikistan, a family affair to forget.   On August 25, a...

Kyrgyzstan: Trial Marks Escalation in Religious Crackdown

Squeezed onto narrow benches in an airless courtroom in a provincial town...

Tajikistan, Uzbekistan Devise New Punishments for Terror Suspects

Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have in close succession come up with a new...

Kazakhstan: Businessman Jailed Over Beating After Social Media Outcry

When an Astana businessman dealt a savage beating on a young man...