According to the list of occupations prohibited for women adopted by the Russian government, women in Russia are not allowed to be directly engaged in extinguishing fires. This professional activity is indicated in the list of professions prohibited for women under #431. Nevertheless, in Saint Petersburg there is a female firefighter, who had received all official special permits and successfully applies her skills and knowledge in day-to-day work. Anna has already saved a few lives and has successfully evacuated people from fire.
Although women can formally get training for this “prohibited” profession, their access to real jobs in this sphere is restricted by a discriminatory ruling that has banned hundreds of jobs and professions for women. The case of Anna Shpenova is an exception that demonstrates not only the absurdity of the prohibition list as such, but also the fact that this regulation can be ignored by the employer either because of the latter’s ignorance or due to the employer’s interest in the work of a particular person.