Tajikistan - Social development
The government's social security systems have been threatened by war and economic turmoil. Refugees returning from Afghanistan after the war suffered from malnutrition and had high mortality rates in resettlement camps. Resettlement payments to refugee families had been promised by the government, but were not implemented in practice. Financial constraints have also led the government to fall behind in the payment of pensions. More than 80% of the population fall below the poverty line, while the monetary crisis devalues benefits.
There is no formal discrimination against women in employment, education, or housing. Women are increasingly working outside the home and are found in both the public and private sectors. Although under law women are supposed to receive the same pay for equal work as men, in practice this does not always occur. Women in rural areas are less likely to receive a higher education or work outside the home, and were likely to marry early. Violence against women, including spousal abuse, is a serious social problem and appears to be particularly prevalent in rural areas. The number of women in government has declined since the Soviet era.
Serious human rights abuses continue to be committed by the government and security forces. Ethnic tensions persist and prison conditions remain life-threatening.