Uzbekistan runs a secret program on women

Uzbekistan runs a secret program on women

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Uzbekistan is allegedly running a secret program to sterilize women and in some cases, has carried out the procedure without their consent, it emerged on April 12, Daily Mail reported. Evidence gathered by the BBC suggests the landlocked country in Central Asia has been carrying out a sterilization program over the last two years.

One gynecologist from the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told a BBC reporter doctors are presented with a sterilization plan every year. ‘Every doctor is told how many women we are expected to give contraception to; how many women are to be sterilized,’ the gynecologist said, adding: ‘There is a quota. My quota is four women a month.’

Other medics told the reporter they were expected to sterilize up to eight women per week.
The controversial program is designed to control Uzbekistan’s growing population of around 28million people, according to a source at the Ministry of Health.

However many people have emigrated since the last census in 1989, when the population was around 20million, leaving some demographers skeptical

‘We are talking about tens of thousands of women being sterilized throughout the country,’ Sukhrob Ismailov, who runs the Expert Working Group, one of very few non-governmental organizations operating in Uzbekistan, told the BBC

Indeed the group found evidence of some 80,000 sterilizations in 2010.

Several medical professionals said the sterilization program is designed to lower maternal and infant mortality rates and therefore improve the country’s league tables.

Forced sterilization was first reported in the country in 2005 after pathologist, Gulbakhor Turaeva noticed an influx of uteruses of young, healthy women coming into the mortuary where she worked.

After tracing the owners of the uteruses, Turaeva went public with her findings but was sacked after asking her bosses for an explanation. Two years later she was in prison, accused of smuggling opposition literature into the country.

The number of forced sterilizations continued to rise, according to the BBC.