About 200 Tajik women are in Syria, Iraq

Staff Report

DUSHANBE -- The approximately 200 Tajik women in Syria and Iraq are there mostly because oppressive husbands made them go, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)'s Tajik service reported August 9, quoting various observers and citing a government estimate of the number of Tajik women there.

Even more tragic, the majority of them have become widows as their husbands have perished in five years of combat, RFE/RL added.

The majority of Tajik women in Syria and Iraq come from Khatlon and Sughd provinces, according to the government. The 73 known Sughd Province families in Syria and Iraq include 80 women and 32 girls.

"Only a few of the women went to the battlefield because of deception or lying propaganda," Makhbuba Azimova, a spokeswoman for the government's Committee on Women's Affairs, told RFE/RL. "Other women couldn't stand up to their husbands and brothers. Now after their husbands' deaths, many of them are enduring terrible times."

Jamolbi Safarova, the mother of one Tajik woman trapped in Syria, said that her daughter -- a resident of Farkhor District, Khatlon Province -- went with her husband two years ago to Syria. The husband was killed nine months ago, and now the daughter and her two children are trapped in Syria, Safarova said.

The daughter tried to object when her husband said they were going to Syria, Safarova said. "But he hit her. Now she phones once or twice a month and cries. They can't come back."

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