Evgenia Markova fought for her right to work in Russia as a truck driver for a long time, and achieved her goal despite the law banning this profession as “hazardous for women”. In the video clip (made specially for ADC Memorial campaign) Markova tells how passionately she wanted to be a lorry driver, how persistently she pursued this job, how she was outraged with the discrimination “by birth”, with the injustice of the prohibition for women to work.
The case of Evgenia shows that there is no jobs “not for women”; a woman (by the way, a successful intellectual having two diplomas, an IT-specialist in high demand, a happy wife) can prefer the very job that the state considers necessary to “protect” her from.
The discriminative practice of bans of a lot of jobs and professions for women rooted in the Soviet past exists in many countries of ex-USSR. Women activists and Human Rights defenders from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova advocate for cancellation of the “lists of forbidden professions”, and in some countries that chose the European integration the problem is being discussed on the state level.
Discrimination of women in employment also exists in the countries of Central Asia; the right of women to work is limited in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan; the labor legislation forbids hundreds professions including well paid and prestigious ones. Behind this prohibition, there is an idea to impose only the social role of mother to women, to ignore their right to free choice of life path, their professional and personal ambitions.
Guissou Jahangiri (Afghanistan), vice president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), in her video statement in support of the campaign all-jobs4-all-women says about hard economic situation of women in Tajikistan; there is high unemployment, hundreds thousands residents of the country are working migrants abroad, women are busy mostly at home and in “traditional” low qualified spheres that are not well paid.
The advocacy campaign continues in order to cancel professional bans that discourage millions women in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to make career, to have interesting jobs and good salaries.