Discussion on Women’s Labor Rights

On March 6, 2020 discussion on women’s labor rights was held at the premises of International Memorial” in Moscow, where videos produced as part of the #AllJobs4AllWomen campaign were also presented. Anti-Discrimination Centre “Memorial” also presented its review of the results of the campaign for the abolition of prohibitions for certain professional occupations for women. The heroines of the campaign for the abolition of these professional prohibitions for women participated in the discussion.

Svetlana Medvedeva, who since 2012 had sought to confirm her right to work in her chosen job as helmsman/motorist of river vessels, has taken her grievances to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which recommended the abolition of discriminatory restrictions for women in choosing their professional occupations in Russia.

Yevgenia Markova, truck driver, had to make titanic efforts in order to get back her job as a driver because of the existing discriminatory restrictions.

Gender experts and human rights defenders from the “Legal Initiative” Project, Human Rights Center “Memorial”, Consortium of Women’s Non-Governmental Associations, Trade Union of Journalists and other human rights organizations spoke about various forms of discrimination against women in the workplace, including harassment at work.

Irina Gorshkova, Secretary of the Gender Commission of the Confederation of Labor of Russia (KTR), spoke on the ILO Convention No. 190 concerning the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work and the need for Russia to ratify it.

Sofia Rusova, representing Trade Union of Journalists and Consortium of Women’s Non-Governmental Organizations, gave examples of gender discrimination in the media sector: pay gap, biased attitude towards women working in technical occupations (cameramen, sound engineers, graphic designers), lack of career advancement, including restrictions on access to various educational programs. She noted that the problem of harassment in media teams (both from colleagues and from the representatives of authorities) was not given due attention, and that journalists in situations of harassment had not received enough support.