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Book Chapter

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The collapse of the Soviet Union gave the unexpected gift of independence in 1991 to five new states in Central Asia-Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. In common with other post-socialist countries, these states are currently going through a transition period characterized by serious and worsening social and economic problems. The 55 million people who live in the region are facing problems of overpopulation, a chronic decline in living standards, and ecological crisis. There has also been a revival of patriarchal traditions and a reversal of female emancipation: The combination of Soviet and Muslim components has led to an uncommon environment of gender discrimination, which has been accentuated by the economic and social crisis and by crude portrayals of femininity from the West.


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