Central Asia is not renowned as a place where women make vocal stands to assert their rights. However, a group of women in Kyrgyzstan is doing just that, breaking cultural and social taboos to perform a piece of groundbreaking theater in Bishkek that has shocked some members of society with its openness.
The production in question is The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, an episodic play based on interviews with over 200 women relating how they view their bodies, sexual experiences, sexual abuse and sexual violence. An English-language version of the show made its debut in late March in Bishkek. On April 11, the show opened its Russian-language version.
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Joanna Lillis is a freelance writer who specializes in Central Asia. David Trilling is the Central Asia Coordinator for EurasiaNet.