Bibiadas Nazarova born in Budyonniy village located in Jamoat Mehnatobod of Bokhtar district had a pleasant life before the civil war. Due to devastating situation she was forced to move to Hoit Village of Rasht Valley together with her family. However, it was difficult for them to adapt and they returned to their home village. Although houses were completely burnt down and household items were stolen, she was grateful for remaining alive and healthy. Despite the fact that at that time women were afraid to go outside, this courageous woman attended training courses arranged by the public organization “Hamroz” within the World Food Program intervention and enrolled 62 women to these courses. Using skills she earned during her studies, she opened a sewing workshop involving 25 housewives. Knowing that people avoided traveling a long distance to buy bread Bibiadas constructed a bakery and provided 6 women with regular employment. Furthermore, Bibiadas wrote a letter to the chairman of “Mehvar” farm of Jamoat Mehnatobod and to the district chairman requesting support in organizing a dehqan farm aimed at expanding the scope of her business as well as ensuring employment for village inhabitants. As a result 47 hectares of land were handed over to her. Bibiadas cultivated cotton on 41 hectares of land and vegetables on 6 hectares arranging employment for 2 men and 120 women. Having seen the progress she made (rational use of water and land, increasing soil fertility, obtaining two-three harvests in a year) the chairman of “Mehvar” farm presented her a car and allocated another hectare and 8 hundred square meters of land area for the sake of encouragement. In the framework of the state program on gardening development implementation Bibiadas planted fruit trees – apricot, apple, peach, cherry and almond on these land areas, and provided employment to additional 6 people. Presently Bibiadas aims at expanding her land area on the account of unused lands and contribute to the flourishing of her beloved homeland and enhancement of people’s living standards, improving domestic and agricultural products.
When Khubon stepped into her husband’s house wearing a wedding gown, she never imagined what would happen to her in this household following several years. She wanted to love and be loved, maintain her life in a sweet and pleasant manner like many other brides do. In order to find favour in the eyes of her parents-in-law and husband Khubon was always caring and attentive to them. She never complained and acted according to what her parents instructed: “Nobody has ever died from labor. Always be nice and you will be respected”. She did everything about the house even though household utilities and conditions were bad and unhealthy. As the time passed, she gave birth to three children and was always confident that they would ensure love of her husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law. However her dreams never materialized. When her husband working as a labor migrant in Russia transferred some money to her, attitude of the parents-in-law towards her completely changed. All of a sudden they would unreasonably start an argument and curse Khubon with harsh words. All this made Khubon sad and not being able to seek the way out of the situation. Now not only father-in-law and mother-in-law, but also sisters- and brothers-in-law raised their voices and hands over Khubon. It did not take long before they finally kicked Khubon out of the house without her children, whose youngest age was 8 months. Without her children life didn’t have any meaning to Khubon. Because of separation from three beloved ones, she nearly turned mad, forgot sleeping and eating. She addressed resolving her case to Bokhtar District Court. The court in turn referred her to “Ghamkhori” Crisis Center. As a result of assistance rendered by the Center psychologists, her condition slightly improved. The lawyers of the center prepared necessary documents which along with claim for withdrawing her children from her husband’s family where submitted to the court. When Khubon saw her parents-in-law and husband’s close relatives at the court she recalled all the sufferings they caused and couldn’t speak a word. With efforts of the defense lawyer she finally reunited with her children. When her husband came back from Russia, he turned away from his children and wife upon his parents’ demand. According to court decision he was obliged to pay alimony on a regular basis. Although 40 somonis today is extremely insignificant amount for a child, the father refused to pay money and submitted a cassational claim to the Provincial Court. Provincial Court considered the district court decision effective and left it unchanged. In addition, Khubon obtained the right to live in the house of her husband. And even though her husband and his relatives were against such decision there was nothing left but to obey before the law. Presently, Khubon is living in her husband’s house together with children. With the support of the Crisis Center she is now employed and is gradually improving her economic conditions.
Khursheda’s heart is full of sorrow and pain from memories of the past life and is dark resembling cloudy spring sky. She was oppressed by ill acts of the person who she used to love so much. A sage once said: “Love has its own spring, summer, autumn and winter and nobody knows in which season his/her life will go through…” Khursheda says today: “I suffered from hot summer and was captured by love’s cold winter” In 2009 Khursheda married a man named Jumakhon. This marriage was based on love and parental consent as well as arranged according to Islam canons and registered in Civil Registry Office. Such things as family values, hearth and home, respect towards husband and his family members were sacred to her. She served her husband, father-and mother-in-law with due respect and devotion and fulfilled all their requests. However, the mother-in-law never liked Khursheda and started a fight with every possible pretext. Khursheda vainly tried to find a key to her mother-in-law’s heart and avoid argument. Once Jumakhon made a try to advocate his wife saying to his mother that Khursheda always treated her in-laws with respect, however it only made the mother cry with outrage: – My words mean nothing to you because you only listen to this witch! Your wife controls your life! Eventually Jumakhon got annoyed with the whole situation and started leaving the house every time his mother would initiate an argument. But later in order to make his mother happy he began beating and kicking Khursheda with hands and legs. Still Khursheda did not complain hoping that the husband and mother-in-law would change and things would get better. She did not disclose her sufferings to anyone especially to her own mother and brothers knowing that they would reproach her for making a wrong choice. Not even Khursheda’s pregnancy stopped the relatives from being abusive. After a baby was born, Jumakhon remained hesitant between his wife and his mother. Not being able to change the situation, he got divorced with Khursheda and banished her with the baby from the house. He came then to his mother and said: – Well, I got rid of them, are you happy now?! – I want you to forget about rendering any kind of support neither to her nor to the child. -she replied. However Khursheda Qodirova found the way out by addressing to the public organization “Dilafruz”. With the support from the organization lawyers the court obliged Jumakhon to pay child allowance. Presently, Khursheda works at the library and takes an active part in various advocacy events implemented by the organization. She even published an article in the newspaper where she addressed men: “Dear gentlemen! Consider it necessary to appreciate women, mothers and sisters. Love your brides abundantly and in return you will get a caring mother of your children and domestic goodness. Your wife will safeguard your belongings and connect you with your future generations in exchange of your love”.
That day Kholida was as happy as ever. Holding land documents she was thinking of her own house and that she would no longer need to knock at people doors asking for shelter. She would then adopt an orphan and her new house would fill with laughter and joy. As she was cherishing hopes for better future, sad scenes from the past came back to her memory. Her parents did not allow her to continue study at school and married her off even though she was still too young. If only that did not happen, life would turn all the way round. She could have had a chance to complete university, get a job and probably have her own children. Unfortunately, with such a decision her parents condemned her to life full of pain. After marriage Kholida faced violence and aggression from her husband as he thought she did not perform household chores well enough. Even when she got pregnant neither her husband nor the in-laws thought she deserved to be treated well. One day Kholida due to anemia weakness did not knead dough and milk a cow on time. As a result she was punished by the husband and mother-in-law who beat her so hard that she fell unconscious. After a while she found herself in the hospital with medicine’s drop injection over her bed. During several days while she stayed at the hospital nobody came to visit her. The doctor told her that she lost the baby and would never be able to have one. At that time Kholida couldn’t realize the whole tragedy of situation and did nothing to punish the abusers. Subsequently, life became meaningless to Kholida. She avoided contacting people and even attempted to commit suicide. With support received from psychologists of the public organization “Dilafruz” Kholida gradually managed to overcome critical emotional condition and get back to normal life. Today Kholida is an independent working woman who actively participates in all social activities organized by the PO Dilafruz during which she often says to people: – Every time you sit on the praying mat and pray, you should request mercy from the Almighty to avoid being hard-hearted towards your daughter or daughter-in-law. You should avoid pronouncing bad expressions and curses with a tongue that utters the name of God, do not offend anyone who is probably beloved by the Creator.
Beautiful, smiling and well-bred Marifat was still attending school when a lot of young men were proposing marriage to her. However, having considered their daughter’s desire, farsighted parents allowed her to continue studies at the university and acquire profession. Following Marifat’s graduation parents selected a young man from the law enforcement family. They were confident that their daughter would never be humiliated in this family and would continue going to work. Wedding party was arranged in a short while and parents blessed Marifat as she was leaving to her husband’s house. However nobody saw and knew the humiliation Marifat faced there later. Marifat gave birth to four children and during all 15 years of marriage she went through violence practiced by her husband and father-in-law. Though she had a higher education, she wasn’t allowed to go out of the house and work. Everytime her father-in-law or husband beat her with an insignificant reason Marifat just cried in the corner of the room not knowing where to seek help. She never understood why people say: “My militia is my protector”. How could they possibly protect anyone? Being militia colonel at the Ministry of Internal Affairs they beat their own daughter-in-law and wife with such a cruelty. It was a cold winter day when Marifat was forced to abandon the house with four children after being cruelly beaten by the husband and father-in-law. Her children helped Marifat get to her sister’s house. Later Marifat’s sister brought her to the Crisis Center “Bovari ba fardo”. With the lawyers’ support and with result of forensic examination Marifat submitted a claim to the court. However, the abusers misused their power, and managed to avoid punishment. Crisis Center’s employees wrote a complaint letter to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. According to the court decision Marifat’s husband was obliged to pay child support on a monthly basis and Marifat got a right to live with her children at her husband’s house. Presently, Marifat is no longer that intimidated woman she used to be. She got a job now, spends time with her children and enjoys her rights. Marifat helps other women who also face difficulties. She is thankful to the Crisis Center for being there when she was suffering from the people she considered to be the closest ones.
All inhabitants of the Komsomol village respect Bibinisso for being wise and active in all public affairs. Every event that takes place in the village is carried out according to her instructions and guidance with observance of traditional canons. Bibinisso was always an exemplary mother who raised polite and industrious children and provided them good education. However, one day she faced the same problems that she usually helped other people to resolve. That day her daughter Zarrina came to Bibinisso’s house with seven children all in tears. Bibinisso tried to calm her down and kindly asked her what happened. – My husband loves and respects me, – said Zarrina – he doesn’t mind that I go to work and doesn’t object against the way I dress. However recently my mother-in-law constantly picks at me and starts arguments for no reason. She reproaches me that every day I dress up in modern clothes while my husband is unemployed. She told me to get out blaming me for not being able to cope with chores. My husband tried to defend me saying that I do everything about the house even better than her own daughters do, but his words made the situation even worse. She said that she didn’t need a son who defends his wife and told him to get out as well. In the result of the argument he left to work in Russia and I had to come here with children. Being a wise woman Bibinisso invited her daughter’s parents-in-law to be guests at her house. At supper she talked about active and educated women, ways of wearing clothes and upbringing children. She pointed out that respect, good manners and good deeds is what really matters and not the clothes you wear. At the same time, she warned that such inappropriate behavior of the in-laws could lead to family break-up and the father would be obliged to pay alimony for leaving children alone. Following long disputes between the relatives, they finally came to a consensus. Parents-in-law apologized before Zarrina for being wrong and Zarrina with children returned to husband’s house. Parents-in-law also called their son saying: – Dear son, we’ve made a mistake and very much regret about it. We apologized before your wife and took her back home with children. Please do not worry, finish your work and return home safe and sound. Presently Zarrina is living a happy life particularly due to the initiative of her clever mother and farsighted parents-in-law.
During the lifetime of 55 years Davlatpochcho probed destiny bitterness and sweetness, experienced rise and fall. She is convinced that severities and struggling only made her stronger. – When my husband died I was left alone with five children without a breadwinner, – Davlatpochocho recalls – I didn’t know where to go and seek assistance from. At that time I blamed my parents for not letting me attend school and acquire qualification. If I had a certain specialization and got a job I wouldn’t of course experience any problem with upbringing my children. But later I came to understanding that there was no use from weeping and waiting help out of nowhere. I went to the public organization “Mahbuba” asking to help me find a job. They offered me a position of the team leader at a small conservation plant of fruit and vegetable processing under the project of “Counterpart Consortium” involving housewives and their former migrant-husbands. This workshop is still functioning today and we are expanding its scope of work in order to improve living conditions of village women and girls. This strong woman earned an honest livelihood for her five children and gave them education. Along with other active women she implements the state program “Prevention of Domestic Violence” in order to empower abused women, educate them and help improve their condition. It is necessary to note that Davlatpochcho Atoeva was awarded with the “President’s Grant” in 2009 upon submittion a project proposal with support of the public organization “Mahbuba”.
If you enter Madina’s house located in Frunze village, jamoat Zargar of Bokhtar district, you will never believe that in 21st century people in Tajikistan manage to live in such conditions. Madina lives in a tiny house that she constructed together with her ten-year old son and this fact makes her feel happy and grateful. By cultivating vegetables on a small plot of land she slightly improved her living conditions. When Madina was younger her parents married her off against her will. Although she coped with all the domestic chores her parents-in-law demonstrated their power and caused quarrels among Madina and her husband. She hoped that things would get better with time and obediently endured all oppression and sufferings. Soon Madina gave birth to four children. When her husband went to Russia as a labour migrant along with female chores she had to perform male work as well. However husband’s family did not respect her anyway. They decided to get rid of Madina and her children and delivered wrong message to their son saying that their daughter-in-law was engaged in prostitution. The husband didn’t investigate the truth and got divorced with her. Ill-fated Madina returned back to her parent’s house hoping to find support there. However, her parents didn’t want to have her with children back. They treated them as unwanted dependants and finally told her to get out. Having no place to go with four children, she was forced to leave her older daughter with her parents-in-law and turned to the Crisis Center. With the support of the center and opportunity to tell her story on the radio “Voice of Dushanbe” Madina succeeded in obtaining a plot of land where she constructed a mud dwelling. In order to provide livelihood to her children Madina works as a maid in various households of her neighbourhood. Her ten-year old son, who already supports his mother, wants to study, obtain a profession in the future and do everything so that his mother, brothers and sisters never get humiliated anymore.
Sanambonu Bobojonova is a respectable person in the village. Village inhabitants come to ask for her advice and guidance. She achieved this position for being polite, honest and industrious. Sanambonu endured many life hardships, acquired rich life experience and became the soul of society, organizer of traditional events. Bobojonova Sanambonu was born in 1953 in Kolkhozobod district. Her mother died when she was a baby and she grew up with her father. Although she finished the secondary school with excellent marks, her father didn’t allow her to continue studying and married her off to a man named Bobojonov Dodarjon. They lived together as a happy family with six children in Sokhtmon Village of Vakhsh district. However the happiness did not last long and in 1981 Dodarjon suddenly died. Sanambonu, who lost her mother very early and now was left without husband’s support, resigned to her fate and started improving her family life on her own. She got a job at the kindergarden and ensured education to her children. Later on, owing to her personal skills and experience she was appointed as a chairman of women’s mahalla committee. In cooperation with local government Sanambonu helped local refugees to return to their home village, restore their devastated houses during the civil confrontations in 1992 and afterwards. When kindergardens stopped functioning, Sanambonu not wanting to stay unemployed, began working at the Kurgan-tyube knitwear manufacturing plant “Resanda”. Loss of the beloved spouse, stress, hardships of life and the country’s conflict made this shy woman write poems in which she praises her motherland, love, devotion, unity, friendship and peace. Presently, this smart woman is enjoying her days sitting surrounded by children and grandchildren and still thinks of work. She is engaged in agricultural farming and actively volunteers for the Crisis Center “Ghamkhori” assisting women who need help.
Every morning Khumorbi enters the classroom and children standup to greet her. She softly wishes them a good morning and recalls the days of her youth. In such moments she regards with disfavor to those parents who marry off their young daughters not letting them go to school. This is what parents of Khumorbi did to her against her will years ago. After wedding Khumorbi did her best to please her husband, father- and mother-in-law but in return they treated her badly, didn’t allow her to go outside and eat at the same table with them. Even though Khumorbi’s mother-in-law was a godfearing woman and constantly prayed she was not afraid to tell bad things in a rude manner about Khumorbi comparing her with a broomstick – once it is worn out it can be thrown away. Suffering from regular abuse Khumorbi even tried to commit suicide. In her thoughts she blamed her own parents and brothers for not letting her obtain a profession. When she turned for help to her brothers instead of being supportive they told her that she should be obedient. They didn’t even allow her to come to their house and never asked the husband and his relatives why their sister was abused. However there are good grounds for saying “What does not kill you makes you stronger”. Together with her husband and children Khumorbi moved to another village away from the hard-hearted in-laws. There she learnt about the public organization “Dilafruz” which helped Khumorbi and her husband improve their family relations. Also with support of the organization she attended Russian language courses. Later she entered the State University named after Nosir Khusrav in Kurgan-tyube. After successful graduation from the university she got a job she always dreamt of. Today Khumorbi is respected teacher of Russian language, happy wife and mother.