Despite the violence of Soviet rule, Soviet policies improved the status of women in Central Asia. The collapse of the Soviet Union ushered in a restoration of revival of Islam and patriarchal customs. In Kyrgyzstan, Islamic organizations are taking an increasingly active role in public life, often delivering necessary services that the state no longer provides. But here, female-run Islamic groups have gained influence, and pious women are challenging both patriarchal and secular norms.

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