Is Bride Abduction possible without violating human rights?

2 February 2004

The practice of bride abduction, the act where a man abducts a girl in order to marry her, has been commonly justified as a ‘tradition’ for a long time in Kyrgyzstan. While some women happily endure this situation, it is often the case that those who are abducted, but refuse marriage are being “stigmatised”.

Bride abduction is practiced by men as a means to express their masculinity, and by which women are abandoned after abduction.

Such form of a marriage has permeated gender stereotypes and violent attitudes towards women, which often results in domestic violence after the marriage. Bride abduction has imposed enormous physical and psychological suffering and trauma on women. Violation of women’s rights and the implications of gender-based violence involved in bride abduction have not been adequately recognized or addressed in Kyrgyzstan.

UNESCO Almaty together with UNESCO department "Constitutional rights and gender policy" at the Kyrgyz- Russian Slavic University is finalizing a project “Human Rights Perspectives in Bride Abduction in Kyrgyzstan”.

The project is aimed to raise awareness on women’s rights violated in bride abduction as well as the legal and protection mechanisms among unmarried women and men in rural areas (Naryn and Issyk- Kul regions).

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