“There is always a way”

Since 2015, FAO participated in the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaigns in Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, and Turkey.


Samira lives in a very remote village in Kyrgyzstan with her husband and four children. They grow vegetables in a small greenhouse to feed the family. In addition, Samira works at the bakery with 10 other women – they bake bread for the local school. This might sound like “a typical life” in a rural setting, but their life was not like this before.

Samira’s husband, Amir, is a farmer, but for the last three years he has not been successful with the agricultural land he rents. Their area is severely affected by climate change. Sudden water shortages and unusual dryness have burned the crops and the family has barely been able to feed themselves during the last few winters. Many people, especially young people, have already left. Amir, under societal pressure to provide for the family, lost all hope. It was not possible to move out and seek better opportunities due to a lack of financial means.

Gradually, he started to drink heavily.

“These were difficult times,” Samira recollects. “I did not know what to do and all I could do was asking for help from my parents. When Amir found out, he became furious. My children and I were shouted at often. It was really scary. And what could I do? All I knew was a regular “women’s” routine: to bring water, cook, clean the house, and look after the children. When there were possibilities, I helped my husband in the field, while our kids were at school."

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