It is a largely rural and agricultural country: as of 2015, only 26.8% of the total population lived in urban areas.
The country experienced a very turbulent period in the 1990s, after the fall of the Soviet Union, with the 1992-97 civil war severely damaging its already weak economy.
In the last decades of the twentieth century, Tajik social norms and even de facto government policy favored a traditionalist, restrictive attitude toward women that tolerated wife beating and the arbitrary dismissal of women from responsible positions.
In the late Soviet period, Tajik girls still commonly married while under-age, despite official condemnation of this practice as a remnant of the feudal Central Asian mentality.
Many women remained in the home not only because of traditional attitudes about women's roles but also because many lacked vocational training and few child care facilities were available.
Most locals speak Tajik, a modern Persian dialect in a region overwhelmingly Turkic; the landscape is absurdly altitudinous, its borders a result of arbitrary Soviet demarcations; the economy is propped up by overseas migrant remittances and illicit drug trafficking; and archaeological attractions run the gauntlet of Buddhist stupas, Silk Road bazaars and Zoroastrian ruins... Culturally captivating and naturally arresting, Tajikistan – arguably the Stans’ least developed land – is as enigmatic as countries come.
This awesome trip took in stunning, truly stunning, scenery across the mountains and in the Wakhan valley.
With the majority of men removed from their civilian jobs by the demands of war, women compensated for the labor shortage.
Although the employment of indigenous women in industry continued to grow even after the war, they remained a small fraction of the industrial labor force after independence.