IWPR (26)

Kyrgyz Divorcees Left Out in the Cold

Bermet, a mother-of-three from Bishkek, was recently abandoned by her husband after three years of marriage. Despite their official divorce – he has since remarried - and a court order ruling him liable for monthly child support payments, 26-year-old Bermet has yet to receive a penny. She now ...

Afghanistan: Nangarhar's Sole Female Lawyer

Lack of representation means that women find it even harder to access justice. Out of hundreds of female law graduates in Nangarhar province only one has been able to find a job as a state lawyer, IWPR has found. Shekeba Danish is the only female lawyer employed by the Nangarhar attorney's office, ...

Afghanistan: Allegations of Widespread Abuse in Boys' Schools

Students in Ghazni province say that they are too ashamed to make formal complaints. Hamidullah, now 13, has changed school four times and spent two whole years out of education due to repeated sexual abuse from his teachers. He had many traumatic memories, he told IWPR, recalling how at one school, ...

Depression Rampant Among Afghan Women

Gender violence, poverty and associated social problems fuels widespread mental health problems. The razor scars on 18-year-old Leila's hands and neck bear witness to her past attempts at suicide. The Herat teenager told IWPR that she had become deeply depressed after her marriage to a 45-year-old ...

Finding Schools for Afghan Returnees

An influx of former refugees returning from Pakistan has put intense pressure on services. When Qareeb-ul-Rahman returned to Afghanistan after years living in the Akora Khatak area of Pakistan, his primary concern was how his six children would be able to continue their education. Like many other ...

Afghan Midwives Make Their Mark

Community care has massively reduced maternal mortality. Fatemeh, a 34 year-old mother-of-three, has bitter memories of her first two deliveries. Both were home births with no formal medical assistance. I suffered so much during these two deliveries and I nearly died,' the Baghlan resident told ...

Afghanistan: Conservative Traditions Limiting Progress

Event hears how social development has suffered as a result. Conservative traditions are holding back progress in Afghanistan's southeastern province of Zabul, according to speakers at an IWPR-organised debate. The event, held in the provincial capital of Qalat city on January 23, 2017, heard that ...

Tajik Media Faces Exodus

A combination of state pressure and lack of jobs is weakening the country's journalism sector. Journalist Sayora Gafurova decided to quit working for independent Tajik news agency Ozodagon after an entire year of police harassment. Gafurova, also a former IWPR contributor, was a longtime freelancer ...

Tajik Media Faces Exodus

A combination of state pressure and lack of jobs is weakening the country's journalism sector. Journalist Sayora Gafurova decide to quit working for independent Tajik news agency Ozodagon after an entire year of police harassment. Gafurova, also a former IWPR contributor, was a longtime freelancer ...

Letters to Mosul

IWPR airdrops four million messages of support to city held hostage by Islamic State. IWPR has helped ordinary Iraqis send millions of letters of solidarity to the residents of Mosul as part of an unprecedented initiative supporting local voices and freedom of expression. Islamic State has ...

Georgia: FGM Criminalised Following IWPR Investigation

State takes immediate action to outlaw practice and raise public awareness. Female genital mutilation has been criminalised in Georgia following an IWPR investigation that revealed the practice was ongoing in an area in the east of the country. The Georgian government and human rights groups said ...

Afghans Debate Role of Local Militia

Observers warn that groups intended to help maintain stability are abusing their power. A profusion of local militias in the northern Afghan province of Baghlan are presenting a serious threat to security, according to participants in a recent IWPR debate. The situation is further complicated by the ...

Can Afghanistan's Women Pilots Aim High?

Social prejudice and limited facilities makes life tough for the handful of female students at the country's aviation academy. In December 2016, one of the Afghan Air Force's only two qualified female pilots sought asylum in the United States after years of receiving death threats. Niloofar Rahmani, ...

Afghanistan: The Shame of Having Daughters

Women are still routinely disrespected and even abused for giving birth to baby girls. Jamila says that she has become a social outcast, just because she has six female children. The 45-year-old, who lives in the eastern province of Nangarhar, said that her daughters were also beaten and mistreated. ...

Afghanistan: Civilians Caught Up in Revenge Attacks

Relatives of both of state security operatives and insurgents say they are subject to harassment from the other side. Gul Khanim, 30, was forced to leave her home in Parwan province's Shinwari district after the Taleban killed her husband four years ago. Now living in the Ashaba valley of Jabal us ...

Kyrgyz Prisons Tackle Extremism

Experts say that religious experts must be co-opted into rehabilitation schemes. As Karimjan Ibraimov settles himself in front of a room of reporters and TV cameras, a prison official carefully adjusts the collar of 50-year-old inmate's neatly buttoned shirt. Ibraimov is just over halfway through a ...

Kyrgyz Minors Allege Police Torture

Teenagers are left traumatised, with little recourse to official complaint. Ulan was arrested last year by police in the Oktyabrsky district of Bishkek on suspicion of stealing a mobile phone. The 15-year-old, who was detained along with a group of friends, still has vivid memories of the trauma. ...

Afghanistan's Modern Day Slave Labourers

Whole families live and work in brick factories, struggling to pay off impossible debts. Sajid, 13, has been working in a brick-making plant ever since he was taken out of school three years ago. He spends 12 hours a day heaving a handcart full of earth from one place to another. His father and four ...

Afghanistan: The Taboo of Sexual Rejection

When men take multlple wives, the emotional cost can be enormous. Zarmina, 36, lives in Herat city with her husband Juma Gul, a driver, and his second wife. I got married to Juma Gul 17 years ago, but after six years he married another girl,' she said. Ever since then, her husband has refused to ...

Kyrgyzstan: Alarm Over Facebook Crackdown

Intelligence services prepare dossier of people criticising country's leader online. Opposition lawmakers and rights activists have called for an investigation after the State National Security Committee admitted investigating several citizens over critical comments they had made about President ...

The Journalist Known as Ghor's Voice

IWPR contributor praised for fearless work exposing corruption and abuses. The province of Ghor, in the west of Afghanistan, is a hard place to be a journalist. One of Afghanistan's most underdeveloped provinces, some remote areas are ruled by armed groups and entirely out of government control. ...

Hope for Afghan Women Traded to End Feuds

Campaigners hail progress in efforts to end ancient practice. When families in some parts of Afghanistan fall out over serious matters, one way of avoiding an escalating blood feud is for the offending party to hand over a woman to the other side. Known as baad', the custom involves an arranged ...

Afghanistan's Domestic Violence Loophole

Penal code allows men to claim extenuating circumstances in cases of so-called honour killings. Campaigners are calling for the Afghan government to follow through on promises to change parts of Afghanistan's penal code that they argue actually serves to legimitise violence against women. Article ...

Schools Focus of Conflict in Afghan Province

Debate hears of staggering' amount of damage caused to the system. Children are being denied access to education in the central Afghanistan province of Maidan Wardak by a combination of conflict, poverty and conservative tradition, according to speakers at an IWPR event in the provincial capital ...

Afghanistan: Rising Addiction Rates Among Women

Experts say a major reason is the influence of a husband or other male authority figure within the family. Yagana spends her days and nights on the streets of Herat city, begging passersby for money to feed her drug addiction. She doesn't know her exact age, although thinks she might be around 18 ...

Afghanistan: The High Price of Virginity

Campaigners say that women are routinely victimised and subjected to traumatic and invasive tests. Aisha was married to her cousin when she was just 15 years old. Six months after the wedding, her new husband summarily divorced her, claiming that she had not been a virgin when they married. Now 17, ...