On 9 November, 2020 the deputy khyakim of Mary velayat Aknabat Atabayeva held a meeting with officials overseeing culture, education and healthcare of the etrap in the community centre of the city of Bairamali. Atabayeva’s second job is the Chairperson of the velayat department of the Turkmen Women’s Union.
Correspondents of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” report that moral character of women and girls was on the agenda of the meeting.
The official is concerned about a growing number of single mothers as well as an increase in the divorce rate.According to her, 12% of marriages registered over the past three years (from 2017 to 2019) in the etrap were annulled.
These are only the divorces officially registered pursuant to a court verdict.In real practice there are much more married couples who got separated.
According to the official, a large number of divorced women have left for other country to engage in prostitution or other criminal activity “disgracing their home country”.
Atabayaeva said that according to her sources, there are 15 pregnant under-age students in the etrap schools.
The deputy khyakim said that the school administration represented by a school principal and an assistant principal responsible for behavioral issues will be held morally accountable for such cases along with parents.
From an early age, girls must be guided by the principles of high ethical standards, moral values, customs and traditions of the Turkmen people in order to become good wives and homemakers, Atabayeva said in conclusion.
Over the past month independent media outlets have repeatedly reported that a new campaign to promote moral character of women was launched in Turkmenistan.
In October 2020 correspondents of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” said that shops had imposed a ban on selling cigarettes are girls wearing dresses and scarves.
According to the news outlet Turkmen News, at the meetings held in the khyakimlik’s office in Turkmenabat female educators are urged to be humble and are prevented from wearing expensive gold items, dying hair and wearing tight fitting dresses. These restrictions also apply to senior graders.
Radio “Azatlyk” reported about similar meetings in Lebap velayat where teachers and female senior graders are delivered lectures on good morals and ethical values. Students are threatened with expulsion from school in case of a pregnancy.