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News and Views: Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan: Efforts to Tackle Bride Kidnapping Hit Polygamy Snag

February 11, 2012

BISHKEK - Legislation designed to discourage the controversial practice of bride kidnapping fizzled recently in Kyrgyzstan's parliament.

The bill lost support because a key provision could also be used to crack down on the ostensibly illegal, yet quietly tolerated practice of polygamy, according to a member of parliament.

Kyrgyzstan: Bride Kidnapping Prevalent

November 22, 2010


One third of all Kyrgyzstan brides are considered to have been kidnapped by their future husbands. The custom of bride kidnapping, which began with rival clans stealing and forcing marriage on each others’ women, has grown into a large social problem in Kyrgyzstan over the past 50 years. Some young men in this Central Asian state take to heart the well-known Kyrgyz saying, “A good marriage starts with tears.”