logo
Home        About us       CEDAW       UN Treaties       Q and A       Reporting to UN Bodies       Resources       Publications       Contact us

 

 

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Regarding the Fourth Periodic State Party Report submitted 27 November 2001
(E/1990/6/Add.35)

 

BASIC COUNTRY DATA

Population, July 2003 estimate: 144.5 million

Ethnicities: Russian 81.5%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 3%, Chuvash 1.2%, Bashkir 0.9%, Belarusian 0.8%, Moldavian 0.7%, other 8.1%

Religion: Russian Orthodox, Muslim, other

GDP, 2002 estimate: PPP US $1.27 trillion

GDP per capita, 2002 estimate: US $8,800

GDP real growth rate, 2002 estimate: 4%

Major Industries: complete range of mining and extractive industries producing coal, oil, gas, chemicals, and metals; all forms of machine building from rolling mills to high-performance aircraft and space vehicles; shipbuilding; road and rail transportation equipment; communications equipment; agricultural machinery, tractors, and construction equipment; electric power generating and transmitting equipment; medical and scientific instruments; consumer durables, textiles, foodstuffs, handicrafts

Fertility Rate, 2003 estimate: 1.33 children born per woman

Infant Mortality Rate, 2002 estimate: 13.99 deaths per 1,000 live births

HIV/adult prevalence, 2001 estimate: 0.9%

HIV/AIDS infected adults, 2001: 700,000

Life Expectancy at birth, 2003: female: 72.97 years; male: 62.46 years

Literacy, 2003:  female:  99.5%; male:    99.7%

Sources: The World Factbook, 2003 [1]

 

Critical Issues

Women in Public Life (Covenant Articles 2 and 3)

            Underepresentation of women in high public office

           Cultural and financial barriers to women seeking office

Women and the Workplace (Covenant Articles 6, 7, and 8)

            Discrimination against women in employment decisions

           High percentage of women among unemployed

            Concentration of women in low-paying jobs

            Provisions of labor law based on stereotypical family roles

           Poor enforcement of anti-discrimination statutes

Protection of the Family (Covenant Article 10)

            Provisions of criminal law based on stereotypical family roles

Adequate Standard of Living (Covenant Article 12)

            Inadequate safety net for single mothers

            Inadequate safety net for single elderly women

            Trafficking of women in sex trade

Health (Covenant Article 12)

           Very high abortion rate

           Low contraception use

           High maternal mortality for an industrialized country

            Increased transmission of HIV/AIDS to women

           Neglect and abuse of women prisoners

           High rate of teenage pregnancy

            Widespread domestic violence

           Sexual violence in Russia and Chechnya

 

Overview

Since its birth as an independent nation, following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian Federation has had a tumultuous history. Steps toward economic liberalization, undertaken during the presidency of Boris Yeltsin, led to massive inflation and a deterioration in the standard of living for average Russians. Though the economy began to grow in the late 1990s, a quarter of Russians live below the subsistence level. [2]

Russia also suffers from poor governance. A World Bank study found that Russia ranked in the bottom quarter of countries with regard to control of corruption and also fared poorly in indicators regarding rule of law. [3] Bribes are a common strategy for average Russians seeking public services, such as housing or education, or favorable treatment from law enforcement or the judiciary. Bribery is similarly a part of doing business in Russia, a fact which has deterred Western investors and sapped money from the formal economy. Organized crime, often acting in concert with public officials, engages in extortion, money laundering, acts of violence, drug trafficking, and sexual exploitation.

Since October 1999, Russia has occupied parts of the Republic of Chechnya, where separatists have sought independence from the Russian Federation since 1994. The current President, Vladimir Putin, was elected in March 2001, largely on promises of more economic reforms and a tough position on Chechnya. A referendum in Chechnya in March 2003 overwhelmingly approved election laws and a Constitution which provide the republic with some autonomy within the Russian Federation, but no independence. Though a final draft report by international observers declared the referendum fair, the Russian human rights group Memorial called the poll illegitimate. [4] Human rights groups have criticized Russia's failure to protect human rights in the region. Both Chechens and Russians have been implicated in human rights violations, which include instances of torture, disappearances, extrajudicial killings and hostage-taking.

 

 

STATUS OF WOMEN IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION  PER ICESCR CONVENANT:

 

COVENANT ARTICLES 2 and 3:

Right to Non-Discrimination; Right to Equal Enjoyment of Rights,

Women’s Economic and Political Status

 

Women hold disproportionately few high-level government posts in the Russian government. Only 7% of the deputies in the two houses of the Russian parliament are women, and several subnational legislatures have no women at all. [5] Shortly after Russian independence, activists formed the Women of Russia political bloc (WOR) in response to general neglect of women's participation and women's issues. [6] Since 1993, however, it has not been able to meet the 5% threshold of the vote to be seated in the State Duma; in the 1999 elections, it took only 2.2%. [7] Other parties have place one female name high on the party list and either failed to list other women or placed them in such low ranking that they were unlikely be elected, a strategy that has been characterized as making only a token gesture of equality. [8] There are no female governors among the 89 administrative divisions of the Russian Federation. [9]

This discrimination is consistent with the exclusion of women from real decision-making during the Soviet era, albeit in a different manner. Though Soviet rhetoric of egalitarianism was translated into action in some areas of life, it did little to increase women's political power. Women attained a high level of representation in the Supreme Soviet, but few held leadership posts in the Communist Party, the seat of real power. [10] In addition, deputies in the Supreme Soviet were not elected in free and open elections.

Women still face barriers to attaining positions of power. Stereotypes hold that women are not intended for politics and must sacrifice their family life to be successful politicians. [11] Additionally, few women have the administrative and financial means to run. [12] Those women who are elected to public office are treated with disrespect by fellow public servants. [13] Irina Khakamada, a deputy speaker in the State Duma, has said that female politicians face great difficulties in being heard on "male" topics such as war, security, and army reforms. [14] In focus groups and interviews, the Moscow Helsinki Group found that men and women legislators both attribute to women greater skill in handling "social issues," such as vulnerable groups, pensions and family law; [15] one female legislator attributing the pragmatism of women in the legislature to physiology. [16] The persistent inequality of women in Russia indicates that, even on "social issues," pro-women voices are not being heard.

Legislative Measures to Ensure Equality

The 1993 Constitution of the Russian Federation provides that men and women have equal rights and liberties and equal opportunity to pursue them. [17] Though this principle is embodied in many legal provisions–for instance, the 1996 Criminal Code establishes legal equality regardless of sex [18] –laws regarding employment, criminal sentencing and benefits treat women differently from men. These laws, reflecting a norm of protecting women as mothers, can lead to discrimination and the perpetuation of stereotypes.

In addition to the many discriminatory provisions of the Labor Code, women are also treated differently from men vis-à-vis the family in the Criminal Code. A provision of the Criminal Code allows the consideration of "the situation of the family" in sentencing, a provision which Russia's Fifth Periodic Report under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) notes is of greater significance to women than men. [19] Older women, and women pregnant or with young children, are exempted from compulsory work, while pregnant women and women with children cannot be sentenced to the death penalty or life sentences. [20] (The death penalty in Russia has been under a moratorium since 1996. [21] ) Inequality between men's and women's protections has sometimes worsened public health crises in jails. According to a tuberculosis advisor for Medecins Sans Frontieres, because of the protections for pregnant women, female prisoners seek to get pregnant, even if they have tuberculosis. [22]

Russian law also allows the sentences of women with children to be deferred, whereas men's cannot. [23] In 2002, an amnesty declared by President Putin released every woman with a child below the age of three from Russian jails. [24] Without effective programs for the those released from prisons, however, this amnesty will only provide temporary relief to the overcrowded Russian jail system before released prisoners reoffend and are incarcerated again. [25]

Though some administrative divisions, such as the Penza region, have enacted legislation to review potentially discriminatory laws, there is no general legislation in Russia to enforce the constitutional guarantee of equality. [26] As a result, there is no general legal remedy to challenge discrimination.

 

 

COVENANT ARTICLES 6, 7, and 8:

Right to Work, to Just and Favorable Conditions of Work,

and to Form and Join Trade Unions

Since the early 1990s, Russian politicians, media outlets, and public opinion have embraced stereotypes of women as "guardians of the home hearth" and men as protectors and providers. [27] These stereotypes are invoked to justify discrimination against women regarding occupational spheres, wages, hiring and firing, “protection” in the workplace environment, and training. After enduring the "double burden" of being both mothers and workers under the Soviet regime, Russian women are now being squeezed out of employment in an economic climate where most families require two salaries to survive. [28]

Discrimination begins in the earliest stages of the employment relationship. Classified ads in Russian papers sometimes specify the gender of applicants sought; in the private business world, such discrimination is commonplace. [29] One phrase in listings–"without hangups"–signifies either sex work or willingness to endure sexual demands and is so common that it is abbreviated. [30] Though the dimensions of the problem are not known, the Fund for Protection from Sexual Harassment at Work, a Moscow based organization, has reported that women seeking employment have been raped by potential employers. [31] Pregnant women face the most difficult time finding work, as a result of stereotypes and the cost of gender-based protections in the Labor Code. Some employers have stipulated in contracts that women not become pregnant for a given period of time. [32]

The State Party's Report notes two worrisome statistics: 1) by the end of 2000, 71% of the unemployed were women; and 2) despite equal wage laws, women are paid 30% less than men. [33] But whereas the Report discusses reform of the minimum wage law and raising the real value of wages, it does not mention a strategy for ending the wage gap between men and women. [34] And though it claims that women are given priority in obtaining jobs, women are often only able to find work in low-paying, low prestige sectors of the economy. Government bias towards low paying work for women is reflected in job retraining programs which track women into unskilled labor, despite their high levels of education. [35]

The State Party's Report also obscures the government's role in the high percentage of women among the unemployed. In the early 1990s, when formerly state-controlled industries were being privatized or streamlined, disproportionate numbers of women were affected. In one instance cited by Human Rights Watch, when the government sought to reduce the number of working days per week in the defense industry, only women were forced to work the reduced time, with its correspondent drop in compensation. [36] Discriminatory firing occurred not only in industries generally dominated by women, but also in industries where the workforce was made up of equal percentages men and women. [37]

Labor Code restrictions officially perpetuate stereotypes as to what occupations are appropriate for women. The Labor Code, which was revised most recently in late 2001, restricts women from working in hard, hazardous, or unhealthy jobs (Article 253) [38] . What constitutes a restricted occupation is determined by the Russian government in consultation with a committee on social and labor relations; a roster of hazardous and dangerous jobs released in early 2000 listed over 450 items. [39] The roster restricts women from working in high-paying jobs in allegedly dangerous conditions, while allowing women to work in low-paying professions in the same or similar conditions. For instance, women are restricted from working as captains or navigators on a ship, but are allowed to work on deck. [40] The International Labor Organization has criticized the restrictions as discriminatory. [41]

The Labor Code prohibits expectant mothers from overtime work, nighttime work, business trips, and work on free days and holidays (Article 259). Women with young children may engage in such work only if there is a written agreement (Article 259). Pregnant women may request transfer or adjustment of rates of output or service standards, with the retention of average salary; women with children under eighteen months must be moved to a new job if they cannot do their previous one (Article 254). Article 255 provides paid maternal leave of seventy days before and after birth, as well as child rearing leave for children up to three years of age and breaks for feeding children.

Some employers seek to avoid paying benefits by not hiring women with children or women likely to become pregnant. [42] By emphasizing the cost to an employer of hiring a mother, rather than a parent, many provisions designed to protect women make them less desirable candidates for job openings than men. A more equitable approach would follow Article 256 of the Labor Code, which allows a father or other relative time off to raise a child, or Article 257, which allows either parent time off after adopting a child. Such provisions would theoretically deter employers from failing to hire or promote women for fear that they would need time off for child care. In the absence of a cultural change requiring men to increase their share in childrearing, however, gender-neutral legislation is ineffective.

Even if legal protections were extended both parents, poor enforcement is the norm. The Labor Code prohibits discrimination against women in labor contracts on the basis of sex, pregnancy or presence of children (Article 64), provides the right to appeal alleged instances of discrimination in concluding a labor contract and generally (Articles 64 and 391), and seemingly encourages such actions by waiving the fees and legal expenses of employees appealing a decision (Article 393). Still, participants at a workshop of Russian human rights organizations in January 2003 reported not knowing of a successful case challenging discrimination on the grounds of sex. [43]

 

 

COVENANT ARTICLE 11:

Right to an Adequate Standard of Living

 

Single parent families headed by women are among the poorest of the poor in Russia. [44] A divorce rate of over 60% [45] and high rates of teen pregnancy, along with the high mortality of Russian men, mean that many women are raising children alone. A recent survey by the Russian Academy of Sciences found that 28% of all children are born to unwed mothers. [46] In the current Russian economy, two incomes are necessary to escape poverty.

As was noted regarding Articles 6, 7, and 8, single mothers face discrimination on the basis of sex and because of their children. Alimony (if paid at all), government cash benefits, and survivor's pensions do not effectively offset the lack of a second income. [47] Economic reforms have largely eliminated the availability of inexpensive childcare, [48] which could somewhat ease the financial burden of single mothers. Even when beneficial Soviet-era guarantees have continued into the 1990s and 2000s, related costs often take a toll on a family's budget: though 97% of children study at free government schools, parents must pay for books and school repairs, in addition to other various school and parents' committee-related charges. [49]

Single elderly women also have a very high risk of poverty. [50] Because of their concentration in low-paying jobs, time taken off for pregnancy and childcare, and earlier retirement age, women's pensions are only 40%-60% of men's pensions. [51] A 2000 study published by the World Bank found that, in the absence of additional income, Russians surviving only on pensions are not able to attain a minimum level of subsistence. [52] Few pensioners can afford to pay for medical services, and drug discounts lack the funding to be effective. [53] Among the retired, senior single women are the poorest subgroup. [54]

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia has both been a receiving and sending country for women coerced into the sex trade. Traffickers recruit young women on promises of high-paying jobs abroad, but, upon arriving in the receiving country, force the women to work as prostitutes. Angel Coalition, a consortium of Russian NGOs, estimates that 50,000 Russian women are trafficked annually. [55]

For years, the Russian government has failed to take significant action to end trafficking. In response to the U.S. State Department's 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report, which ranked Russia as among the worst countries in combating trafficking, [56] Duma deputies and representatives from other governmental and nongovernmental organizations drafted an anti-trafficking bill, which was introduced in February, 2003. [57] Currently, traffickers are prosecuted on charges of illegally operating a business or kidnapping; [58] the draft law would add to the Criminal Code seven new crimes relating to trafficking. In addition to passing the draft bill, the government should aggressively prosecute traffickers and fund rehabilitation groups for victims of trafficking.

 

 

COVENANT ARTICLE 12:

Right to Physical and Mental Health

 

Childbearing, Abortion and Maternal Mortality

Though the rate of abortions has declined in the post-Soviet era, abortions are still very common: for every ten births, there are about thirteen abortions. [59] In an attempt to reduce the number of abortions and boost the birth rate, the Ministry of Health recently issued a decree that will limit access to abortions. [60] Previously, abortions were allowed during the second trimester for a variety of social reasons, including low income, pregnancy resulting from rape, and an existing family of three or more children. [61] The new decree limits abortions between the 12th and 22nd weeks to cases of rape, imprisonment, death or severe disability of a husband, or a court decree stripping the women of her parental rights. [62] Abortions are, as before, available without restrictions in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and at any time if the fetus has severe disabilities or if the mother's life is threatened. [63]

The restrictions on abortion are part of a larger trend by the government to discourage birth control. In 1997, the Health Ministry abandoned its sex education program in schools; a year later, the Duma eliminated funding for family planning clinics. [64] Some city and regions, however, funded their own programs, with impressive results: in the Altai region, almost half of women use modern means of contraception. [65] In contrast, contraceptive prevalence in the entire Russian Federation is only at 21% for all methods, 13% for modern methods. [66] Federally-funded family planning clinics and education programs aimed at women, men, and children are a good strategy for reducing the rate of abortion without restricting women's reproductive choices.

Russia's maternal mortality rate–50 per 100,000 live births–is nearly 10 times greater than the rate in Western countries. [67] Though maternal mortality declined during the 1980s, the trend did not continue in the post-Soviet transition. [68] The high rate of maternal deaths in Russia have been attributed to abortion-related complications, hemorrhages, and toxemia; at least half of such deaths are believed to be avoidable. [69] A deputy health minister recently estimated that 80% of Russian women had complications during childbirth. [70]

HIV/AIDS

The head of the Ministry of Health's Federal AIDS Center has said that an estimated 1.5 million Russians are infected with HIV. [71] Whereas in the 1990s, HIV was mostly spread through needle sharing and homosexual transmission, heterosexual transmission is expected to become the primary form of transmission, with more women and children infected. [72] In 2002, women were 33% of new HIV cases, an increase from 2001, when they comprised 25% of new cases. [73] AIDS is a particular problem among prisoners and prostitutes.

Public attitudes towards HIV are characterized by fear and ignorance. [74] Despite the trend toward increased heterosexual transmission, government officials still treat AIDS as mostly a drug users' problem. [75] Not surprisingly, government programs on AIDS are often counterproductive. Voluntary testing is discouraged by laws making it a crime for an HIV-positive person to have sex, even with a condom, and a 1995 law allows the police to close down needle exchanges. [76] Russia only recent accepted a loan offered in 1999 by the World Bank to combat HIV and tuberculosis. [77]

 

Women Prisoners

Women in Russian prisons suffer from inadequate nutrition, and poor hygiene and health care. [78] Women prisoners are reportedly denied sanitary supplies, a policy which the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, has characterized as degrading. [79] The mass release of women prisoners in 2002 led to many tuberculosis carriers being released into the general population. [80]

Women in police custody are subject to acts of violence, including sexual violence. [81] The absence of gender-specific training for officials regarding torture, as well as the unwillingness of prosecutors to initiate proceedings against violent officers, has allowed ill treatment of women to continue. [82]

 

Teenage  Pregnancy

Among developed nations, Russia has both the highest teen birth rate and the highest teen abortion rate. [83] Despite high levels of sexual activity among teenagers, few are aware of reliable forms of contraception. A 1999 survey in Ivanovo reported that, though over three quarters of 15 and 16 year olds considered their knowledge of contraception sufficient, only 9% could accurately answer a questionnaire on contraception and half did not know where to obtain family planning information. [84] The high price of contraception is an additional barrier. [85]

 

Violence Against Women

Domestic violence is a very serious problem in Russia. According to a recent poll by Moscow State University and the Academy of Sciences' Sociology Institute, nearly one in every five women in Russia is severely beaten on a regular basis. [86] Regional monitors have confirmed that domestic violence is widespread: the women's organization Femina in the Republic of Tatarstan estimates that over half of women face physical violence in the home. [87] The Russian government's most recent report under CEDAW states that 14,000 women die as a result of domestic abuse each year, a number which is also cited by local NGOs and international organizations. [88]

A 1997 report by Human Rights Watch severely criticized Russian inaction on violence against women, specifically with regard to victims of domestic and sexual violence. It found that police are reluctant to investigate incidents of violence in the home and, when they do, their actions are often inadequate: men are held over night, only to return home the next day to batter again. [89] The report also detailed the problems women face in seeking shelter from abuse, which include both a lack of temporary shelters and a housing market that forces many victims to continue living with abusive husbands. [90]

Since the report's release, the Russian government has done little to improve the situation of victims of domestic violence. Police are still unwilling to investigate or prosecute claims of abuse, and no national law addressing domestic violence has been adopted. [91] Russian NGOs have tried to fill the gap, creating crisis centers and hotlines, some with the co-operation of the government, but they can only reach a small number of the many victims of violence. [92]

The Human Rights Watch report also detailed the obstacles that victims of sexual violence face at every stage of bringing a complaint in the Russian justice system, including police refusal to pursue complaints, inadequate and abusive forensic exams, failure to protect victims' physical and psychological well being, and a low prosecution rate. The report notes that "victims seeking redress for sexual violence regularly confront law enforcement institutions and individuals hostile to and suspicious of their motives and intentions." [93]

In Chechnya, women have been sexually abused or raped by soldiers in villages, at checkpoints, and in detention centers. [94] Access to justice for Chechens is generally undermined by an inefficient and unresponsive Russian justice system and fear of further abuse or detention; victims of rape are additionally deterred by the stigma of being a rape victim. [95] The failure of Russian authorities to end human rights violations in Chechnya may contribute to a climate of impunity among security officers. [96]

 

 

COVENANT ARTICLES 13 AND 14:

Right to Education

In Russia, women are more educated than men, both in terms of terms of numbers enrolled and average educational attainment. [97] A woman in an NGO focus group in the Stavrapol territory commented that the only women's right observed is the right to education. [98] Still, stereotypes about "male" and "female" professions create obstacles for women in higher education. [99]

 

 


ACTIONS TAKEN BY OTHER UN HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

 

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Russian Federation 21 March 2003 (CERD/C/62/CO/7)

 

No recommendations concerning women were issued by this committee

 

 

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture: Russian Federation  28 May 2002 (CAT/C/CR/28/4.)

Principal subjects of concerns:

     Despite numerous allegations of violence against women in custody, no formal complaint has been received regarding such violence

     The number of women in prison has doubled in between 1992 and 2002.

 

 

Consideration of reports of state parties: Russian Federation 28 January 2002 (CEDAW/C/2002/I/CRP.3/Add.3.) (Draft Report of Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women)

 

Principal areas of concern and recommendations:

 

     The Constitutional provision of equal rights is not being used as an effective social or legal policy. Russia should provide procedures and remedies for enforcing this equality and ensuring that the legal profession and the population at large appreciate this equality.

     The Constitution should prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. The government should create procedures and remedies to prohibit discrimination by state and private actors

            Discrimination against women is not being treated as a distinct structural problem. Legislation, including specific prohibitions and civil remedies, should be undertaken to overcome barriers to prosecution, particularly with regard to domestic violence, sexual violence, employment and sexual harassment.

     The Commission on Enhancement of the Status of Women should be given jurisdictional powers and sufficient resources to be effective.

     The Committee is concerned with legislation in the state Duma based on traditional stereotypes of women and men in family and in society.

            Awareness-raising programs should be implemented, including ones targeting men, to emphasize that women's rights are human rights and to change stereotypes.

     Women are poorly represented in the State Duma, as deputies in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, and on the Council of the Federation. Since 1997, no women have held the post of federal minister.

     Hiring and wage discrimination are problems. Legislation should be passed prescribing equal opportunity, equal pay for equal work, and procedures and remedies for individuals and NGOs challenging job and wage discrimination. Temporary special measures should be introduced to accelerate equality.

    Though women constitute over half the civil service, they are in few positions of leadership.

     12% of women work in hazardous conditions. Russia should require all employers to comply with health and safety standards.

     Those there are some exceptions, women of childbearing age are banned from many jobs. The number should be reduced, in consultation with women's NGOs.

     Data should be collected regarding the feminization of poverty and special measures undertaken to alleviate women's poverty.

     There is a high level of domestic violence in Russia. Specific remedies should be undertaken, including facilitating the prosecution of offenders, training of law enforcement and the judiciary, measures of protection for victims, and an awareness campaign dispelling the myth that violence is a "private matter."

     The government has taken little action on violence against women in pre-detention centers and in prison, and in the armed conflict with Chechnya.

            Prostitution has increased, with the poverty of women and girls as a main cause. Existing programs for street children should be modified to assist women forced into prostitution by poverty. People living off the earnings of prostitutes or other sexual exploitation should be prosecuted.

            Trafficking of women (to and from Russia) for exploitation has not been adequately prosecuted. A comprehensive strategy should be established to deal with trafficking.

     The government's HIV/AIDS programs should not regard HIV/AIDS as primarily resulting from drug use and alcoholism. The power differential aspect of infection should be addressed. Awareness-raising and education programs should be strengthened and women and girls should be ensured access to detection, health care, and social services.

     The state of women's health is deteriorating. Sex education should be included in school curriculum, a life-cycle approach to women's health should be implemented, family planning should be strengthened, and women in all regions should have access to contraception.

     Rural women should be more economically empowered. More data should be collected on rural women.

 

 

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child :Russian Federation. 10 November 1999. (CRC/C/15/Add.110.)

 

Principal subjects of concerns, suggestions and recommendations:

    Girls in rural areas are in a disadvantaged situation with regard to access to education, health, and protection from sexual abuse and exploitation.

     The Committee expressed concern over the high incidence of violence against women, and its impact on children.

    There are increasing dropout and decreasing enrollment rates in vocational and secondary technical education, especially among girls. Data needs to be collected on dropouts.



[1] CIA, The World Factbook, http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/rs.html.

[2] "Hundred of Thousands of Russians Live in Extreme Poverty: Official," Agence France Presse, 23 June 2003, Lexis-Nexis.

[3] Daniel Kaufmann, Aart Kraay and Massimo Mastruzzi, Governance Matters III: Governance Indicators for 1996-2002 (The World Bank: 2003), http://www.worldbank.org/wbi/governance/pdf/govmatters3.pdf.

[4] "Russia: Observers Call Chechen Referendum Free and Fair," 24 March 2003, BBC Monitoring International Reports, Lexis-Nexis; "Chechen Rebel Leader Should Beg Forgiveness: Pro-Russian Official," 28 March 2003, Agence France Presse, Lexis-Nexis.

[5] "Facing the Dismal State of Women in Russia Ahead of National Holiday," 6 March 2003, Agence France Presse,  Lexis-Nexis; Valerie Sperling, "The Gender Gap in Russian Politics and Elections," PONARS Policy Memo No. 259, (The Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2002), http://www.csis.org/ruseura/ponars/policymemos/pm_0259.pdf.

[6] Valerie Sperling, Organizing Women in Contemporary Russia: Engendering Transition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 119.

[7] Centre for Russian Studies, "1999 State Duma Elections Official Results – Party Lists," http://www.nupi.no/russland/elections/1999_SD_final.html.

[8] Robert G. Moser, Unexpected Outcomes: Electoral Systems, Political Parties, and Representation in Russia (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001) 64-65.

[9] S. Kovaleva and S. Lukashevskiy, "Discrimination in the Sphere of Electoral Politics," Discrimination Against Women in Contemporary Russia (Moscow Helsinki Group, 2003), http://www.mhg.ru/english/1EBF2E5.

[10] Svetlana Aivazova and Grigory Kertman, "Introduction," Men and Women at the Elections: Gender Analysis of the Electoral Campaigns of 1999 and 2000 in Russia, (Consortium of Women's Nongovernmental Associations: Moscow, 2000), http://www.owl.ru/eng/books/election/introduction.htm.

[11] Sandra Upson, "Vote May Signal Change for Women in Politics," St. Petersburg Times, Lexis-Nexis, 8 August 2003.

[12] S. Kovaleva and S. Lukashevskiy, "Electoral Politics."

[13] Sperling, Organizing Women in Contemporary Russia, 137-38.

[14] Upson, "Vote May Signal Change."

[15] Kovaleva and Lukashevskiy, "Electoral Politics."

[16] Ibid.

[17] Constitution of the Russian Federation, art. 19, http://www.fipc.ru/fipc/constit/ch2.html.

[18] Russian Federation, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women: Fifth Periodic Reports of State Parties, (United Nations, 1999), 13, http://www.bayefsky.com/reports/russia_cedaw_c_usr_5_1999.pdf.

[19] Russian Federation, Fifth Periodic Report under CEDAW, 13.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Amnesty International, The Russian Federation: Denial of Justice (London: Amnesty International Publications, 2002), 10, http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engeur460272002.

[22] Nick Paton Walsh, "Liberated Women," The Guardian, 11 April 2002, Lexis-Nexis.

[23] Russian Federation, Fifth Periodic Report under CEDAW, 14.

[24] Nick Paton Walsh, "Liberated Women."

[25] Ibid.

[26] S. Kovaleva and S. Lukashevskiy, "Discrimination in Legislation," Discrimination Against Women in Contemporary Russia (Moscow Helsinki Group, 2003), http://www.mhg.ru/english/1EBE2C9.

[27] Rebecca Kay, "A Liberation from Emancipation? Changing Discourses on Women's Employment in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia," in Russia After Communism, ed. Rick H. Fawn and Stephen White (London: Frank Cass Publishers, 2002), 57-59.

[28] Sperling, Organizing Women in Contemporary Russia, 74.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Human Rights Watch, Neither Jobs nor Justice: State Discrimination Against Women in Russia (Human Rights Watch, 1995), http://www.hrw.org/reports/1995/Russia2a.htm; Sperling, Organizing Women in Contemporary Russia, 156.

[32] S. Kovaleva and S. Lukashevskiy, "The Right to Equal Opportunities for Employment," Discrimination Against Women in Contemporary Russia (Moscow Helsinki Group, 2003), http://www.mhg.ru/english/1ECDA41

[33] Russian Federation, Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: Fourth Periodic Reports Submitted by States Parties in Accordance with Articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant, (United Nations, 2001), 10, 14, 16. http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf.

[34] Ibid., 16.

[35] Sperling, Organizing Women in Contemporary Russia, 123.

[36] Human Rights Watch, Neither Jobs nor Justice.

[37] Ibid.

[38] All labor code citations from Federal Law No. 197-FZ of 2001, http://natlex.ilo.org/txt/E01RUS01.htm#chap1

[39] Consortium of Women's Non-governmental Associations, "New Technologies of Women NGOs Collaboration with Powers," http://www.wcons.org.ru/eng/publication.php?pub_id=4.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Alexei Rubtsov, "Draft New Labour Code to Be Passed Before Year's End," TASS, 2 October 2001, Lexis-Nexis.

[42] Kovaleva and Lukashevskiy, "Equal Opportunities for Employment."

[43] Open Justice Society Intiative, Combating Discrimination in Russia: Strategies for Lawyers and NGOs, (2003), http://www.justiceinitiative.org/publications/russia_ec/moscow_workshop/moscow.pdf

[44] L.N. Ovcharova, N.M. Pavlova, M.S. Toksanbayeva, R.I. Popova, and I.I. Korchagina, Feminization of Poverty in Russia (Moscow: World Bank, 2000), http://www.worldbank.org.ru/ECA/Russia.nsf/ECADocByLink/D941B6467604FE0AC3256CD1005EF703.

[45] Nick Paton Walsh, "Women Get a Moscow Man – By the Hour," The Observer, 17 August 2003, Lexis-Nexis.

[46] "So Where Are All the Men?," The Economist, 3 August 2002, Lexis-Nexis.

[47] Ovcharova et al., Feminization of Poverty in Russia.

[48] Sperling, Organizing Women in Contemporary Russia, 153.

[49] Ovcharova et al., Feminization of Poverty in Russia.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Ibid.

[54] Ibid.

[55] Michael Manville, "Russia Moves on Sex Trade," Toronto Star, 4 May 2003, Lexis-Nexis.

[56] United States Department of State, Trafficking and Violence Protection Act: Trafficking in Persons Report (2000), 19, http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2002/10678.htm.

[57] Michael Manville, "Russia Moves on Sex Trade."

[58] Nabi Abdullaev, "Without a Law, Sex Slavery Flourishes," Moscow Times, 5 November 2003, Lexis-Nexis.

[59] Mara D. Bellaby, "Russian Abortion Rate Declines While Government Considers Scaling Back Liberal Law," Associated Press, 28 July 2003, Lexis-Nexis.

[60] Fred Weir, "Russia Begins to Reconsider Wide Use of Abortion," Christian Science Monitor, 28 Augusts 2003, Lexis-Nexis.

[61] Russian Federation, Fifth Periodic Report under CEDAW, 29-30.

[62] Steven Lee Myers, "Russia Retreats from 50 years of Permissive Law; Abortion on Demand Once a Favored Birth Control Method," New York Times, 26 August 2003, Lexis-Nexis.

[63] Ibid.

[64] Vakhim Ismailov, "Contraception Catches On in Russia" Ezhenedel'ny Zhurnal, 10 June 2003, trans. Kevin J. Krogmann, http://www.tol.cz/look/wire/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=10&NrIssue=732&NrSection=1&NrArticle=10021&search=search&SearchKeywords=vakhim&SearchLevel=0

[65] Ibid.; Myers, "Russia Retreats."

[66] Center for Reproductive Rights, "Russia," http://www.crlp.org/ww_eu_russia.html, accessed on 18 September 2003.

[67] Sergei Blagov, "Development: Children Face Uncertain Future in Russia," Interpress Service, 12 December 2000, Lexis-Nexis.

[68] The MONEE Project, Women in Transition (UNICEF, 1999), http://www.unicef-icdc.org/publications/pdf/monee6/chap-4.pdf.

[69] Health Care Systems in Transition (Copenhagen: World Health Organization, 1998), 9, http://www.who.dk/document/e72969.pdf

[70] "Abortions, Infant Mortality Drop in Russia," Agence France Presse, 2 April 2003, Lexis-Nexis.

[71] Rafael Behr, "Rising Tide of AIDS Threatens to Wash Away Russia's Young," Financial Times, 17 May 2003, Lexis-Nexis.

[72] Sarah E. Mendelson, Julie Sawyer, and Celeste Wallander, The Security Implications of HIV/AIDS in Russia, PONARS Policy Memo No. 245, (The Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2002), http://www.csis.org/ruseura/ponars/policymemos/pm_0245.pdf.

[73] Michael Wines, "HIV Infection Rates Rise Quickly in Russia," The New York Times, 23 May 2003, Lexis-Nexis.

[74] Behr, "Rising Tide of AIDS."

[75] "Saying Versus Doing," The Economist, 21 June 2003, Lexis-Nexis.

[76] Ibid.

[77] Behr, "Rising Tide of AIDS."

[78] Amnesty International, Denial of Justice, 27.

[79] Ibid.

[80] Walsh, "Liberated Women."

[81] Amnesty International, Denial of Justice, 28.

[82] Ibid.

[83] Cheryl Wetzstein, "Study Finds U.S. Has High Rates of Teen Pregnancies, Abortions," The Washington Times, 24 February 2000, Lexis-Nexis.

[84] The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, Women's Reproductive Rights of Young Girls and Adolescents in Russia: A Shadow Report, (1999), 9, http://www.reproductiverights.org/pdf/sr_rus_0999_eng.pdf.

[85] Ibid.

[86] Megan Merrill, "NGOs: 36,000 Women Beaten Daily," Moscow Times, 20 May 2003, Lexis-Nexis.

[87] S. Kovaleva and S. Lukashevskiy, "Domestic Violence," Discrimination Against Women in Contemporary Russia (Moscow Helsinki Group: 2003), http://www.mhg.ru/english/1ED0294.

[88] Russian Federation, Fifth Periodic Report under CEDAW, 38; Sylvie Briand, "Russian Women Die From Domestic Violence Every 40 Minutes," Agence France Presse, 8 March 2003, Lexis-Nexis; Merrill, "36,000 Women."

[89] Human Rights Watch, "State Response to Sexual and Other Violence Within the Home," Too Little, Too Late: State Response to Violence Against Women, (Human Rights Watch: 1997), http://www.hrw.org/reports97/russwmn/Russwmn4.htm.

[90] Ibid.

[91] Amnesty International, Justice for Everybody: Human Rights in the Russian Federation, (2002) http://www.amnesty.org/russia/pdfs/russia_briefing.pdf.

[92] Ibid.

[93] Human Rights Watch, "State Response to Sexual Violence," Too Little, Too Late: State Response to Violence Against Women, (Human Rights Watch: 1997), http://www.hrw.org/reports97/russwmn/Russwmn3.htm.

[94] Human Rights Watch , "Russian Federation: Serious Violations of Women's Human Rights in Chechnya," January 2002, http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/eca/chechnya_women.htm.

[95] Amnesty International, Denial of Justice, 69, 62.

[96] Ibid., 70.

[97] S. Kovaleva and S. Lukashevskiy, "The Right to Equal Access to Education," Discrimination Against Women in Contemporary Russia (Moscow Helsinki Group: 2003), http://www.mhg.ru/english/1ECD365.

[98] Ibid.

[99] Ibid.

 


COPYRIGHT© 2009 All materials on this web site copyright of International Women's Rights Action Watch, University of Minnesota, USA