Role of Women in Society
The ongoing changes in social, political and economic spheres of the country entail not only the raise of women’s role in society, in addition they are accompanied by breaking of stereotypes to treat human beings by sex that had been shaping through decades. Free economic relations and democratization of all spheres of life create the basis for eventual equal social rights for any human being regardless of sex, for both men and women.
From a legal point of view, a man and a woman in Russia are equal. However, in practice, there are no real mechanisms of women’s rights fulfillment as well as for their active participation in social life.
Such questions as women and their place in the society, their political and social activity as well as enlightening of those problems in mass media; questions of creation of informational data-base as well as maternity and childhood cannot be effectively solved by governmental bodies, especially in the situation of economic crisis.
That is why it is important today to assist the creation of such mechanisms through the activation of women’s public organizations. And non-governmental charity organizations become a single source for support of such projects. Housework, chores and raising children are generally considered to belong to a woman’s domain. Despite the fact that birthrates in the country have been falling, children are obstacles in the labor market. It is understandable that women decide to defer having children later or do not have children at all. Along with that, there is a lack of knowledge about modern contraception and a correspondingly large number of abortions. The frequency of abortions in Russia is one of the highest in the world.
Women comprise 54 percent of contemporary Russian society. However, the number of women taking part in the country’s political, economic and civic life shows that women are restricted in the spheres of politics and government. Women’s salaries are on average lower than men’s, and women are likewise far more likely to fall victim to violence and unemployment. According to United Nations Gender Organization data, 67 percent of those unemployed in Russia are women. A lack of state financing in social programs has caused further tightening in the labor market, particularly for women. Female unemployment is rising at a catastrophically high rate. Women have less access to retraining programs than men, while women entrepreneurs are a rarity.
Women’s social status is a serious problem. Few female decision-makers can be found in positions of social importance. This strengthens the stereotype of «male superiority» and hinders the creation of true partnerships between men and women.
One of the most important reflections of equity is equal rights in the labor market. Analysis of existing legislation of Russia confirms its prohibition on gender discrimination. However, legislation itself creates only a certain legal environment, certain conditions for equality, but does not ensure their fulfillment.
Thus, the main goals are protection of women’s rights and elimination of discrimination in society; widening women’s participation in policy decision-making processes on the local, regional and national levels; support for cooperation between women’s organizations on the national and international arenas; widening access to international resources and experience of women’s organizations on an international level.