Blessing or punishment? A sociological analysis of women and divorce in Tajikistan.
by Tilloeva Gulnigor Salimovna, Senior Student, Department of Sociology
Thesis supervisor: Dr. Deborah Dergousoff, Department of Sociology
My current research looks at divorce as both a blessing and punishment for young divorced women and those in the process of divorce in the rural Ishkashim district of Tajikistan. Apart from this, the study examines why the divorce rate has dramatically increased in the rural Ishkashim district of Tajikistan and what factors have contributed to it. The larger question that informed the research was “Are women leaving violent relationships considering divorce as a blessing or punishment?” Based on qualitative research methods, semi structured in-depth interviews were taken from 6 divorced women and 4 from those in the process of divorce in December 2014 – January 2015 in the Ishkashim district in order to know women’s life experience before and after divorce. The interview questions were the same for both divorced women and those in the process of divorce. In addition to the semi structured interview questions women in the process of divorce were asked, “What can save their marriage?” A focus group discussion was held among representatives of the local government, representative from the women and family affairs committee, representatives from the court and vital records office in order to understand the increasing divorce rate in the rural Ishkashim district during the last 4 years. The presentation will discuss previous research conducted on divorce by other scholars as well as the significance and its differences from others. It will cover the theoretical framework, methodology and preliminary findings based on the results of 10 in-depth interviews with divorced women and those in the process of divorce and a focus group with the representatives from the abovementioned offices.