UN Geneva: Experts of the CEDAW Commend Policies in Favour of the Family and Women in the Russian Federation and Ask about Gender-Based Violence, and the List of Professions Restricted to Women

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women today concluded its consideration of the ninth periodic report of the Russian Federation, with Experts commending policies in favour of the family and women, and asking about gender-based violence, and the list of professions restricted to women.

A Committee Expert commended the Russian Federation for traditionally pursuing policies in favour of the family and women, consisting of awareness-raising projects, policies on prevention of violence and trafficking in persons, as well as open shelters and helplines for victims. The Expert also cited the adoption of strategies in favour of women. One Expert asked whether there were plans for improving a weak national legislative framework to address gender-based violence against women? Were there plans to improve inadequate assistance to victims of gender-based violence? Another Expert asked what measures were adopted to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex women from discrimination and violence? One Expert, while commending the Russian Federation’s fairly high level of employment, including of women with children, noted that there were still areas of concern in the labour market, adding that the list of restricted professions generated inequality for women, hindering them from participating in numerous high-paying professions.

The delegation of the Russian Federation explained that when it came to preventing domestic violence, measures were being implemented by municipal programmes, and the police also had a number of inspectors. Preventive work was carried out with regard to individuals who had carried out crimes within the framework of the family. The targeted measures were unique in the world, as the measures were preventive rather than aimed at punishing perpetrators. Work was underway to revise the list of industries where women’s employment was limited. In line with labour legislation, the rights of men and women were the same.

Andrey Pudov, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation and head of the delegation, presenting the report, said traditional values were very important for the Russian Federation, as they were the moral foundation. While the family was the primary unit of society, women should not face a choice between a family and children, or participating in professional life, and the Russian Federation saw the participation of women in State and local governance, in business, in creative industries and as scientific researchers. The updated list of jobs had been reduced from 456 types of professions and types of work to 100 entries for which the employment of women was restricted due to threats to reproductive health. The renewed decree would enter into force in 2022. The levels of grave types of violence against women had decreased, and the country attached importance to providing comprehensive assistance to victims of violence.

Tatiana Moskalkova, High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, said that key problems facing women included domestic violence and violations of labour and educational rights. Her Office was involved in a new programme for law enforcement officers on preventing violence against women and domestic violence, as well as the development of a draft law on combatting domestic violence.

The delegation of the Russian Federation was made up of representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development; the Federal State Statistics Service; the Ministry of Internal Affairs; the Ministry of Justice; the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs; the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation; the Federal Penitentiary Service; the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the General Prosecutor’s Office; the Ministry of Science and Higher Education; the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of Health; and the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women’s eightieth session is being held from 18 October to 12 November. All the documents relating to the Committee’s work, including reports submitted by States parties, can be found on the session’s webpage. The meeting summary releases prepared on the public meetings of the Committee can be found here. The webcast of the Committee’s public meetings can be accessed at http://webtv.un.org/.

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