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PW 2829 Zindagii shoista – living with dignity: an innovative family-centred approach to tackling violence against women and girls in rural tajikistan
  1. Shahribonu Shonasimova
  1. International Alert, Dushanbe, Tajikistan


Violence against women and girls is prevalent in Tajikistan, driven by gender inequalities and livelihood insecurity. Young daughters-in-law are particularly vulnerable to intimate partner violence (IPV) and violence from in-laws. In many countries in Asia, the family unit is not a husband/wife dyad but extends to a complex grouping of in-laws who often exploit and are violent towards, younger daughters-in-law. Therefore, interventions may be more successful if extend beyond the husband/wife dyad to the family unit. There is a major gap in evidence-based interventions to reduce IPV and violence from in-laws.

To develop an integrated behaviour change, and economic empowerment approach with a family-level focus, we adapted the ‘Stepping Stones’ intervention – a gender transformative behaviour change programme – combined with an innovative livelihoods intervention, which we adapted to the local situation based on the findings of our research.

The adapted intervention has been implemented in target villages and proved to be effective in reducing domestic and intimate partner violence in rural Tajikistan. The end line evaluation revealed women’s self-reported experience of violence reduced by half.

The findings also suggest a very significant decrease in depression, among both women and men. Furthermore, the evaluation found suicidality was very much reduced. In addition, women and men’s gender attitudes became more equitable, and perceived social norms in the community improved.

Moving forward, we plan to adapt our methodology further based on our findings and apply it in different contexts in the country and beyond.

This presentation will describe adaptation/implementation, results and lessons learned from the intervention.

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