About bans

The list of professions banned for women is a vestige of Soviet times. Open employment discrimination against women is attributed to concern for their “reproductive health.” In Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, and the former Soviet countries of Central Asia,* women are banned by law from hundreds of professions, including prestigious and lucrative ones.

In Armenia, Georgia, and Ukraine,** references to the list of banned professions have been removed from labor codes, but restrictions on the labor of women still exist: in Armenia, the list of occupations and professions banned for women, minors, and people with disabilities has not been repealed, and in Georgia, professions on this list are still banned for pregnant and nursing women.

Moldova’s Labor Code*** has replaced superfluous professional restrictions for all women with protective measures for pregnant women and new and nursing mothers, including temporary transfer to a less strenuous job with retention of average earnings.

*Uzbekistan’s list was repealed in March 2019, two years after the campaign was launched, and became invalid on May 1, 2019

**Ukraine’s list was repealed in December 2017, nine months after the campaign was launched

***Amendments to Moldova’s Labor Code entered into force on August 25, 2017, professional bans for women were cancelled six months after the campaign was launched.

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