Saturday, October 7, 2023

De-Colonization Drive in Kyrgyzstan has a Distinctly ‘Female Face,’ Shagal Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 4 – Because women are often the most important bearers of culture and the transmitters of that heritage from one generation to another, many naively assume that they are inherently more conservative than men and are unlikely to engage in revolutionary activities on behalf of the nation of which they are a part.

            But however often such observations may be true, they are certainly not the case all the time in Central Asia where women have played a prominent role in revolutionary movements. Many will recall Gregory Massell’s classic work, The Surrogate Proletariat (Princeton, 1974) in which he describes how the Bolsheviks used women to revolutionize that region.

            Now, according to Stanradar journalist Maiya Shagal, something similar is happening again but this time not in support of Moscow but in opposition to it as Kyrgyz women have come to dominate the de-colonization movement in that Central Asian country (

            According to the journalist, Kyrgyz women and especially those below the age of 30 now have assumed leadership of this movement, denouncing Russian imperialism and insisting on the rebirth and growth of Kyrgyz identity. Shagal gives numerous examples to make her point, one that those studying Central Asia and other regions should pay attention to.

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