Staunton, August 2 – The patriarchal traditions in many North Caucasus nations have been breaking down, and female members of those communities are assuming an ever more prominent and public role in national movements there, especially among the Ingush and Circassians.
Among the Ingush, for example, Zarifa Sautiyeva, an archivist-activist and now internationally recognized political prisoner (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/05/zarifa-sautiyeva-ingush-political.html) and Izabella Yevloyeva, the founder of the independent Fortanga portal who has been forced into emigration (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/03/izabella-yevloyeva-another-heroine-of.html).
And among the Circassians, Madina Khakuasheva, a scholar and publicist in Kabardino-Balkaria (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/07/new-monuments-to-tsarist-generals-show.html) and Madina Tlostanova, who teaches in Sweden (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/08/statues-of-russian-conquerors-in-north.html) have become intellectual leaders of the movement.
Now, a third Circassian women is gaining in prominence, Lyudmila Kochesokova, a Circassian lawyer and relative of embattled Martin Kochesokov who is slated to be tried August 11 on trumped up charges of drug possession and extremism. (On his current situation, see kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/352532/).
In support of her relative, Kochesokova has prepared a detailed legal analysis of his case and sent it in the form of an open appeal to senior officials in Kabardino-Balkaria (zapravakbr.ru/index.php/doc/1508-lyudmila-kochesokova-delo-martina-kochesokova-nosit-zakaznoj-kharakter-net-somneniya-chto-sledstvie-lyubym-sposobom-namerenno-dovesti-ugolovnoe-delo-do-logicheskogo-zaversheniya-nakazat-nevinovnogo-cheloveka).
In Ingushetia, the treatment of Sautiyeva and Yevloyeva suggest that officials are especially alarmed by the role these two women are assuming. So far, the Circassian women have been subject to less official harassment. But regardless of whether that continues, the emergence of women in both nations is a powerful indication of changes in the region.
And even though the recent and tragic cases of female genital mutilation show that patriarchal values remain strong (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/06/female-mutilation-in-ingushetia-not.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/05/abuses-in-ingushetia-call-attention-to.html), the actions of these and other women are ensuring that more change is coming.