Gulzabira Toreshova doesn't believe in happy marriages. She saw her husband for the first time at a friend's birthday party — by the end of the evening she had been abducted and forced to become his wife.
Sweeping and stringent measures introduced recently by Uzbekistan’s authoritarian government threaten, among other basic rights, the existence of the country’s independent progressive women’s non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Following independence in
1991, the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan has been undergoing sweeping
social, political and economic changes, all deeply affecting the country's
women. However, women's problems continue to be ignored, while the role of women
has become a battleground between the various forces, including fundamentalism,
which seek to fill the ideological vacuum left by the collapse of Soviet power.