Kazakh Filmmaker Releases Documentary About Violence Against Women

ASTANA — Kazakh director Rinat Balgabayev released a documentary dubbed “Gorgon” about the problem of sexualized violence in the country, filmed with the support of United Nations (UN) Women Kazakhstan, reported the office’s press service on March 7.

Photo credit:Screenshot from the “Gorgon” film

The film tells the real stories of women who survived gender-based violence. The documentary also features experts working in the fight against gender-based and domestic violence in Kazakhstan.

According to Balgabayev, the project aims to highlight the scale of the problem of sexualized violence in Kazakhstan and enable women survivors of violence to tell their stories and encourage society to support and contribute to changing existing social norms, which, unfortunately, at the moment, reflect misunderstanding and condemnation of the victims.

“The film invites everyone who is not indifferent to the topic of violence to provide support to survivors of violence and promote zero tolerance towards all forms of violence in society,” said Balgabayev.

According to the UN, every sixth Kazakh woman faces violence every year. In Kazakhstan, as in many other countries around the world, gender-based violence often remains hidden due to the stigma and fear of victims of possible discrimination and misunderstanding.

“Releasing the film on the eve of International Women’s Day carries a powerful message. The heroines who bravely shared their stories are an example of courageous women who inspire all survivors of violence not to remain silent, and society to be united in eradicating gender-based violence. We hope that this film will become an important advocacy product in the fight for women’s rights and the eradication of all forms of violence,” said Dina Amrisheva, the acting head of the UN Women’s Office in Kazakhstan.

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