Relative Status of Men and Women

In Soviet theory, work and social opportunities are open to both men and women, and men and women are equal in law. In practice, social restrictions are placed on women that are not placed on men. A divorced woman is denigrated and suspected of sexual improprieties; divorced men do not face the same condemnation. Families with limited resources put more money into a son's education than into a daughter's. In rural communities, sons may move away for higher education; daughters are rarely allowed to live away from home before marriage. Legally, polygyny is not permitted; it is not uncommon in practice. Women are expected to defer to the decisions of father or husband.

Uzbekistan's army filled its ranks through conscription of young men, though wealthier families found ways to keep their sons from going; in 2003, Uzbekistan moved toward a volunteer army. The army takes rural young men, giving them opportunities to see the country, gain skills, make contacts, and have healthcare unavailable to their sisters. Men are respected for their achievements; a woman's personal conduct can destroy her reputation no matter how successful she is. Honor is located in the sexual propriety of women and girls. Those girls or women who bring shame to the family by having, or appearing to have, sex outside marriage face various consequences, including rapidly arranged forced marriage, expulsion from the community, or daily harassment. Men who engage in sex outside marriage may become the subject of gossip, but face none of these consequences.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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