Negative stereotypes cause damage to the state

New UNDP research shows that despite the improvement of the state policy and overall attitude of people towards persons with disabilities and rural women negative stereotypes are still deeply rooted in Kyrgyzstan.

September 25, 2018, Bishkek – New research of UNDP has been launched today which has revealed a stereotyped thinking in respect of the people with disabilities and the rural women is widespread on the national level – is embodied in the policy, the laws, the media space and the law enforcement practice. During research work, generally, the opinions of almost 1,600 people were studied.

Perception of persons with disabilities as the dependent people who need constant care, should be treated with indulgence, always need something, results in their identification with handicapped people, which is one of the main obstacles to their life worth living.

Widespread negative stereotypes in respect of the rural women, as well as with other factors, contribute to sustainable gender inequality of the rural women in all spheres of life. Currently, there is a significant decrease in the quantity of the rural women in the local keneshes (self-government bodies) and the local authorities. The level of education of the rural women is lower than that of the urban women, they have lower access to the social services, their economic activity and employment  level is lower. All this contributes to the sustainable gender inequality.

Moreover, a perception of ​​a rural woman being ashamed to divorce, to claim property and alimony and who uncomplaining accepts any situation, contributes to such forms of gender violence as early marriage, bride kidnapping, family violence, which, according to the official data, prevail in the rural areas.

The research aimed to understand existing negative stereotypes among general  population and public employees towards persons with disabilitie and rural women, to identify peculiarities and reasons for negative stereotypes, and to provide recommendations for development of the raising awareness campaign in order to tackle these stereotypes.

It is difficult to overestimate a negative impact of the stereotypes on the society. The stereotypes keeps the society unequal and make women and persons with disabilities less happy and successful. Therefore, thee stereotypes cause damage to the state, as they prevent the people with disabilities and the rural women from being a part of the public life, getting the high-quality education, and contribute to the welfare of Kyrgyzstan.

The study was conducted by the Public Foundation “Center for the Study of Democratic Processes” within the framework of the UNDP and the Ministry  for Foreign Affairs of Finland project “Towards Sustainable Access to Justice for Legal Empowerment in the Kyrgyz Republic”.

Meri Bekeshova, Communication Specialist of the UNDP project 


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