There are three main objections
to statements of concern about women’s reproduction:
1. There is no scientific evidence of harm to women’s health for virtually any of these “banned types of activities”
why is installation on the ground not harmful, but installation in the air is? Why can women work as crane operators on dry land, but not on water platforms? The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women requested that the RF to submit scientific evidence that it is harmful for women to work as a helmsperson-motorist (when it was considering the case of Svetlana Medvedeva, who complained of being denied employment in her specialization with a river fleet – in this case an entire body of restrictions on the labor rights of women was found to be discrimination), but the RF government did not submit any evidence.
2. Women have the right to decide for themselves what is more important to them
being a mother (i.e. realize the reproductive function that the government is so concerned about), or being a successful professional, going out to sea, working in the air, or doing other interesting things, being successful, and attaining career growth. If there is a risk to their reproductive functions, women should be warned about them. In many cases, risks should be taken into account when planning pregnancy, but this should not lead to blanket bans on certain types of activities.
3. Bans violate the principle of equal rights for men and women
there are no bans connected with risks to the reproductive health of men (even though their reproductive functions could be harmed in a number of professions, like atomic scientists on nuclear submarines). Moreover, men are left the choice of being professionals or engaging in reproduction. The state does not intrude on the choices men make, but it does on the choices women make (in the form of a legislative ban!), which is direct discrimination.