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Voices Against Women's Day Remain Rare in Tajikistan

As Tajikistan celebrates the International Women's Day (re-branded as Mother's Day in the country in 2009), social media help amplify the rare voices that speak against the holiday. Writing on his personal website, prominent religious leader and politician Hoji Akbar Turajonzoda urges [tj] Tajiks not to celebrate on March 8:

Celebrating Mother's Day or Women's Day is inadmissible. This is not our religious or national holiday. We inherited this holiday from the Soviet period.

Similar messages have appeared on social media sites, particularly on Odnoklassniki and Facebook. For example, Said Boboev argues [tj] in TAJIKISTAN Online, a Facebook group that has over 13,000 members, that marking the Mother's Day is against the Islamic tradition. 

Such claims remain unpopular in Tajikistan where 90 percent of men and 87 percent of women celebrate the holiday on March 8, according to a recent survey [ru]. Following a Soviet tradition, the country's leader has congratulated [tj] the women of Tajikistan in a televised address. Reacting to Turajonzoda's comments about the holiday, one Tajik netizen tweeted [ru]:

Burn in hell if you celebrate on March 8? Turajonzoda has totally lost his mind http://t.co/YeVoFZXrXk

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