Kyrgyz Woman Wins Strategic Gender Equality Case

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07/04/2023

Altyn Kapalova is a lesbian feminist, artist, and writer from Kyrgyzstan who has been fighting with Kyrgyz authorities for more than two years for the right to keep the matronymic she gave her three children. Kapalova chose to give her children an appendage to their first name that comes from her first name, or a matronymic, rather than a patronymic, the father’s first name, as required by law. Patronymics are a vestige of the Russian tradition of naming, still present in many former Soviet republics. Initially, the Kyrgyz Civil Registry allowed Kapalova to make this change. But the registry moved to annul this decision after she wrote a Facebook post about the decision, calling it a “feminist victory over patriarchy.”

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