Commentaries

Seven pointers for the new EUSR for Central Asia

The position of European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for Central Asia is key for EU-Central Asia relations. The EU’s visibility in the region remains modest, and the EUSR plays...

Delivering aid ‘uphill’: Discussing development cooperation in the mountainous regions of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

The mountainous regions of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan present a set of specific development challenges and opportunities to inhabitants, local governments, and international donors alike. Often, there is a mismatch...

Out of the frying pan and into the fire: Kyrgyzstani women abroad

Kyrgyzstani female labourers working abroad face a double risk: being women and being migrants. Most lack basic social and legal protection. Indira is a Kyrgyz hairdresser in Moscow. Because...

Not safe at home: Covid-19 in Kyrgyzstan

Women and girls in Kyrgyzstan have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Domestic violence and sexual abuse already were a serious problem in the Central Asian region as...

Emancipation or back to the kitchen? Gender and civil society in Kyrgyzstan

The Kyrgyz state in general and the healthcare system in particular were overwhelmed by the Covid-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020. When the state was unavailable to help,...

Narrowing the digital divide in Uzbekistan’s education system: Covid-19 lessons

The Covid-19 pandemic transformed everyday realities overnight, as most services and activities had to be moved online. Education worldwide was hit hard. As schools and universities shifted to online...

Invisible migration with visible consequences

Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek is growing fast. While official data indicates only a few thousand ‘visible’ migrants moving from rural areas to the capital each year, unofficial estimations point to...

Right to Privacy in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz citizens’ right to privacy is at risk. In autumn 2019, Kyrgyz news centered mainly on government plans to install in Bishkek Chinese facial recognition cameras that were donated...

How the EU links Central Asia to Afghanistan’s development

In 2019, the European Union (EU) released a new strategy for Central Asia. Whereas the strategy is focused on the five Central Asian ‘stans’, it does seek to include...

Potential for EU-Kazakhstan cooperation on women’s empowerment

Women’s empowerment and gender equality feature prominently in the new European Union (EU) Strategy for Central Asia. They are referred to as cross-cutting issues, included in a wide range...