ADC “Memorial” prepared report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

Working group of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women filed a thematic report to the UN Human Rights Council, which focused on the discriminatory legislative norms as well as economic and social aspects of the infringement on the rights of women in times of economic crisis. Currently preparations for the next meeting of the Working group are under way and it considers various materials provided by non-government organizations, among them a brief report of ADC “Memorial”, describing common practices related to discrimination against women in Russia.
Report prepared by ADC “Memorial” documents discrimination against women by the state authorities, including direct infringement on the rights of women through various legislative norms, such as the existence of a list of occupations prohibited for women, the lack of legislation aimed against domestic violence and introduction of adequate responsibility for it. The report cites the facts of illegal custody of pregnant women in detention centers for foreign nationals, where conditions do not meet international standards, facts of prolonged detention in these centers of foreign nationals – victims of human trafficking while investigation of their cases was not really proceeding, etc. Special attention in the report is given to problems of women living in traditional communities and minority groups: women and girls in the North Caucasus live under constant pressure of “traditional values” and find themselves in real danger of being killed for “indecent” behavior (“indecent” according to men, of course); double and even triple discrimination experienced by the Roma and migrant women from Central Asian countries.
Report also describes various cases of discrimination of Roma women: for example, the state’s failure to provide temporary shelter for women in crisis situations, incidents when Roma women were forced to take responsibility for crimes committed by other, more powerful members of the community, cases of police violence and arbitrary action aimed to humiliate Roma women (for example, cutting the hair), the absence of the possibilities to use the right to education. Migrant women laborers from Central Asian countries, in addition to often finding themselves in slave-like position, are often subjected to domestic violence and often become victims of human trafficking. Members of LGBTI community are also subject to physical assaults by men for failing to keep their appearance and lifestyle up to “traditional” norms. Discrimination in Russia affects not only women – representatives of specific vulnerable groups, as there is an ongoing unprecedented wave of repression against civil society in Russia during the last two years and one of the first to be attacked were non-government organizations fighting against LGBT, ethnic and gender discrimination. Among the first NGOs to be recognized as “foreign agents” were Saratov-based “Center for Social Policy and Gender Studies” and one of the few Russian NGOs fighting against discrimination of women in Southern Russia, “Women of Don”.
During the recent 58th session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women a special discussion on the problems of the education of girls and women was held. Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, made an opening statement at the meeting and noted undeniable success in the implementation of the right to education, but stressed that overall improvements has not yet led to a significant change in the status of women: women are still paid lower wages and their participation in public and political life is limited, in most cases it is only women who are burdened with duties of housekeeping, there are still many women subjected to domestic violence. Navi Pillay noted that gender inequality still exists, and therefore apparently there is limited impact of education for women and girls as patriarchal principles and gender stereotypes are strengthening. Discrimination against women and girls takes place in the field of education, too: Navi Pillay said that more than 35 million girls are deprived of education, of which two-thirds belong to ethnic minorities in their countries. This situation is also partly explained by the position of educational institutions and traditional communities. The High Commissioner urged to respond effectively to these difficulties, based on the principles of respect for human rights, to involve all interested parties, including government officials, teachers, parents and community members in the education process.
Report of ADC “Memorial” to the Working group of UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

Эта запись так же доступна на: Russian