Ubekistan in Transition-Changing
Concepts in Family Planning and
Monika Krengel and Katarina Greifeld
Uzbekistan became an independent Republic of the Soviet Union in 1991. It is a society in transition, where old and new values, communist and Islamic traditions, and Western influences overlap. This chapter examines the present government policy and the related position of reproductive health. We discuss continuities and discontinuities in the institutional setting, and attitudes to contraceptives and reproduction among clients and health professionals. We will show how reproductive health is conceptualized in Uzbekistan and how changes in theories regarding contraceptive choice and practice are introduced into the lives of Uzbek women. Conflicting notions regarding tradition and change, practice and policies are a central concern of this chapter.
The material presented was collected within the framework of a bilateral Uzbek-German health project, ‘Promotion of Reproductive Health in Uzbekistan’. 1 K. Greifeld was a project co-ordinator in Uzbekistan between 1995 and 1997 and M. Krengel worked as intermittent coordinator and carried out two studies in 1996 and 1997 (of four and three weeks respectively) as part of the project. The results of these studies are previously unpublished. The first study focussed on ‘Conceptions of Reproductive Health at the Village Health Centres and Midwife Level’. It was primarily based on Focus Group Interviews (FGIs) with ninetysix midwives in fifteen focus groups. The second study was concerned with ‘Life Plans of Young People, their Knowledge and Conception of