Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyz Republic 1999, 2001 & 2004 by R. Kleinbach S. Amsler M. Ablezova M. Aitieva, M. Reeves
Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyz Republic “ Ala-Kachuu” means “to take and run away.” Bride kidnapping is the act of abducting a woman to marry her. It includes a variety of actions ranging from consensual marriage to kidnapping and rape.
<ul><li>Typically it involves a young man & his friends taking a young woman by force or deception to the home of his parents or a near relative. </li></ul><ul><li>She is held in a room until his female relatives convince her to put on the marriage scarf. </li></ul><ul><li>If necessary she is kept over night or raped & is thus threatened by the shame of no longer being a pure woman. </li></ul><ul><li>Our studies show 80-90% of women stay </li></ul>
Dr. Orunbaeva of Naryn helps to understand this. She points out that a Kyrgyz girl grows up without experiencing force being used against her. Now for the first time superstitious signs, and psychological, physical & sexual force are used against her. After hours or days she is tired, in shock and not ready to use physical and moral force to resist a group of mostly older women. When she agrees, all relatives are notified and a marriage celebration takes place in the following few days.
High school English students & teachers. Of 49 students in 2 groups, ½ of their mother’s had kidnap-marriages.
<ul><li>The studies look at percentage of Kyrgyz marriages that were the result of kidnappings & percentage of these marriages that were non-consensual </li></ul><ul><li>(against the will of the women). </li></ul>
Based on 300 Cases  & 374 Cases  Who are the Men and Women Involved? Range Mean Average Age of women 16-28 /14-33 19.4 /20.1 Age of men 17-45 /17-39 23.5 /24.4
<ul><li>University Some Univ./Tech Secondary < Secondary Education of women 17 /21% 28 /37% 50 /27% 6 /12% Education of men 31 /14% 19 /39% 43 /34% 7 /10% </li></ul>Based on 300 Cases  & 374 Cases  1999: 100/300 respondents were male; 2004: all female. 1999/ 2004 : Familiarity of Men & Women Involved <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li> Male Female </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Man kidnapped woman he did not know 1% 7 /9 % </li></ul><ul><li> Woman kidnapped by man she did not know 11% 21 /22 % </li></ul>
<ul><li> Female Male Man loved woman he kidnapped </li></ul><ul><li>66% 49 /41 % </li></ul><ul><li>Woman loved man who kidnapped her </li></ul><ul><li>37% 25 /26% </li></ul>1999 /2004 : Familiarity of Men & Women Involved :
1999 /2004 : Degree of Consent and Involvement Male Female Woman kidnapped with her own consent 45% 17 /34 % Woman kidnapped through deception 36% 45 /46 % Woman kidnapped by physical force 20% 24 /18 % Man wanted kidnapping to occur 78% 89 /78 % Woman wanted kidnapping to occur 25% 13 /10 % Man helped plan the kidnapping 81% 76 /76 % Woman helped plan kidnapping 18% 7 /6 %
1999 /2004 : Degree of Consent and Involvement Male Female Friends of man helped plan kidnapping 81% 73 Friends of woman helped plan kidnapping 12% 11 /9% Friends of the man helped kidnap woman 91% 84 Friends of woman helped kidnap woman 16% 19 /12 % Mother of man wanted kidnapping to occur 37% 30 /23 % Mother of woman wanted kidnapping to occur 11% 4 /4.5 % Father of man wanted kidnapping to occur 34% 24 /18% Father of woman wanted kidnapping to occur 8% 1.5 /2 %
1999 /2004 : Why was this woman kidnapped? Male Female To prevent woman from marrying another 31% 28 /28 % Parents of woman might not agree to marriage 26% 29 /7 % It is a good traditional way to get a bride 34% 21 /38 % Woman might refuse marriage proposal 1 4% 26 /29 % Woman had refused a marriage proposal 16% 14 /12% Man was unable to pay kalym (bride price ) 10% 10 /3.5 % The woman was pregnant 13% 2.5 /2% Parents of man might not agree to marriage 10% 4 /1 %
2004 Village:Kidnapping Frequency & Consent Level % Married % Kidnappings % Married Women , Women Without Kidnapped Number of Age Kidnapped Consent ** Without Consent Respondents 76+ 64 43 27 11 66-75 64 56.5 36 36 56-65 73 25 18 44 46-55 88 54 47 82 36-45 83 57 47 126 26-35 78 65 51 87 16-25 85 74.5 63 117 Averages 80 % 5 7 % 4 5 % 5 03 ** by deception or force, not in love, and woman not wanting to be kidnapped
2004 Village: Kidnapping Frequency & Consent Level
Conclusions: 1. The 1999 & 2001 data provided evidence that approximately 50% of ethnic Kyrgyz marriages were result of kidnappings. 2. The 2004 data showed that 80 % of ethnic Kyrgyz marriages in this village were the result of kidnappings . 3. The 1999 & 2001 data provided evidence that as many as 66% of these marriages were non-consensual. 4. The 2004 data showed that 57% of these marriages were non-consensual. We conclude that approximate 35-45% of ethnic Kyrgyz women were married against their will as a result of bride kidnapping.
<ul><li>The weight of the evidence here points to the resurgence of a tradition of male dominance rather than to a tradition that counters arranged marriages and affirms a lover’s option. </li></ul><ul><li>If it were primarily a lover’s option, a much higher percentage of the kidnap-marriages would be consensual. </li></ul>
The results raise serious questions about the impact of bride kidnapping on the rights of women, particularly those related to Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) , which asserts that “marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.”
It also violates Article 16 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1981), which states that "states parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations and in particular shall ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women: a) The same right to enter into marriage, and b) The same right freely to choose a spouse and to enter into marriage only with their free and full consent.”
<ul><li>It violates Article 1 of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993), that states, “For the purposes of this Declaration, the term "violence against women" means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” </li></ul>
Non-consensual ala kachuu violates Article 155 of the Criminal code of Kyrgyz Republic , “Forcing a woman to marry or to continue a marriage or kidnapping her in order to marry without her consent, also standing in the way of marriage (impediment) is subject to punishment as a fine in the amount of 100 to 200 minimal wages per month or to imprisonment up to five years.”
<ul><li>Dr. Orunbaeva states the results of kidnapping include: </li></ul><ul><li>Physical abuse in the process of kidnapping causes bodily harm because a young woman is forced to come to a man’s house. </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological violence of depriving women or rights choosing husband and friends, </li></ul><ul><li>Rape the first night that cannot be appealed , </li></ul><ul><li>The negative economic, medical and psychological consequences of stealing a bride, </li></ul><ul><li>Thirty percent increase in divorce rate is explained by the fact that a kidnapped woman is not ready for marriage. </li></ul><ul><li>Brutal treatment of spouses in marriages contracted by kidnapping if a bride was not a virgin or was pregnant. </li></ul><ul><li>There is an increase in the number of divorced women engaged in prostitution. </li></ul>
<ul><li>NGO “Bakubat” established by Dr. Orunbaeva developed a training program preparing young men for marriage. The goal of the program is to teach young men the following: </li></ul><ul><li>Stealing a bride is violence, not a usual “family” matter, </li></ul><ul><li>Bride kidnapping is not a good Kyrgyz tradition , </li></ul><ul><li>Change the stereotypes of young men to marriage & family. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bride kidnapping leads to negative socio-economic, medicinal and psychological consequences. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take marriage seriously and not to give in to other men’s influences, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To bring into men’s attention those laws protecting women’s right and men’s responsibilities in front of laws defining bride kidnapping as violence. </li></ul></ul>
Kidnapping Pledge of Resistance for Women “ Forcing a woman to marry . . . or kidnapping her in order to marry without her consent,” is a violation of the law of the Kyrgyz Republic, and a violation of her fundamental human rights of security, freedom and equality. Therefore, I pledge that if I am kidnapped for marriage, I will resist, with all my abilities, such a marriage. I pledge that I will use all existing laws to prosecute to the full extent possible, those people responsible for the kidnapping. I have informed my family of my intentions; They have agreed to support my decision. They have agreed to assist in my rescue from a kidnapping, and to refuse to give their consent or approval to a kidnapping. They have also agreed to assist me in prosecuting those persons responsible for the kidnapping. They have witnessed my signature of this statement and signed below as an affirmation of their agreement and support. I will add my name to a list of other women and men who have signed pledges of resistance to kidnapping for marriage without a woman’s consent. I do this to show support for the resistance movement and to make myself available to assist other women and men who need information or help. In the event that I wish to marry using the tradition of Ala Kachuu, it will be only if I have given my consent at least 10 days prior to the Ala Kachuu, and if I have participated in the planning of when and how the Ala Kachuu will take place.
Russell Kleinbach, Ph.D. e-mail: [email_address] http://faculty.philau.edu/kleinbachr/ala_kachuu.htm Dr. Turganbubu Orunbaeva Phone: 3522-2-18-67 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org