Kyrgyzstan is the second poorest country in Central Asia. More than40% of the population live below the poverty line and women are particularly badly affected. The Kyrgyz Red Crescent and the Red Cross are working to help some of the most vulnerable women.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, poverty has become a big problem in rural areas. The return of traditional values along heavy patriarchal lines has had an impact on women's lives.
Early and unregistered marriages, the kidnapping of women as brides and an outdated Soviet registration system all contribute to the vulnerability of Kyrgyz women.
Unregistered marriages - illegal in Soviet times - have become common practice. When things go wrong, women pay the price. Single mother Salamat receives no financial support from her husband because their marriage was not registered.
Hundreds of thousands of internal migrants in the capital Bishkek have no access to basic services because of an outdated Soviet registration system. 90% of internal migrant women are denied access to medical support in their own country.
There are at least 220,000 internal migrants living on the outskirts of Bishkek. This trickle of water supplies the entire community of Kyrman, Bishkek, and the migrants had to install it themselves.
The Kyrgyz Red Crescent, in partnership with other local NGOs, is advocating for the abolition of the registration system. They also train migrants in vocational skills, human rights and first aid. (Photos: Claudia Janke/British Red Cross)
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