Forced Sterilization Program Revealed In UzbekistanApril 12, 2012 No Comments
Women are being sterilized without their permission or knowledge in Uzbekistan as the result of a secret government policy to keep statistics for maternal and infant death artificially low.
Uzbekistan is a small dictatorship in Central Asia and has recently gained strategic importance to countries involved in the conflict in Afghanistan (including the US) as part of a supply route into the country.
The policy has been in place for at least two years and has had a devastating impact on the lives of women and their families across the country.
An investigation undertaken by the BBC revealed that doctors were given quotas of numbers of women to be sterilized. Accurate statistics could not be put together because the doctors and women involved were too scared to be properly identified. As you might expect in a dictatorship, arbitrary imprisonment and torture in detention are commonplace there.
This practice is obviously completely disgusting. Women are essentially being assaulted with government backing.
It is after giving birth that many of these secret sterilizations occur, whilst surgeons are stitching women back up after c-sections. As is the case in many developing countries, the vast majority of Uzbek women have babies by c-section. So the women who are having this done to them are powerless to prevent it and are being abused at one of the most vulnerable points in their lives.
The Uzbek government is ruining the lives of women in order to fan the vanity of a dictator. If Western countries have the power to apply any pressure to have this policy reversed then they should use it! It’s just not acceptable for women’s rights to keep being the fall guy of international politics and diplomacy.
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