Women.s human rights and the rights awareness are under consideration in the current issue on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Declaration on Human Rights.
Information about the research project on women.s human rights in Russia and mass consciousness is represented by two articles; both articles are written by women researchers of the Moscow Center for Gender Studies.
Tatiana Klimenkova.s presents her vision of the problem of women.s human rights awareness in the context of the recent research project implemented in the city of Rybinsk. 67 deep interviews with 900 people were done in the framework of the research. Respondents acknowledged violation of human rights as the main problem in their everyday life as well as the problem of violence in different spheres of life. On the basis of the research data the author stated that it is impossible to eliminate violence in society without changing social environment. As for the gender aspect of rights awareness, it was represented in respondents. statements in different ways; some respondents expressed the need to change traditional stereotypes which limit development.
Another author, Larissa Lunyakova, has presented the article about rights defense experience in Rybinsk. All respondents spoke about the situation of .extreme injustice. in all spheres of life in the city. Most of them are not completely aware of the issues of human and legal rights. However, people stand for their rights. Thus, for the recent three years the number of referrals to law enforcement agencies has increased. Most of complaints are about economic and social rights. 50% respondents managed to win; however, female respondents failed. It was clear though that lack of legal literacy and rights awareness are the main obstacles in standing for one.s rights.
The issue of women.s rights institute development has been analyzed in the context of international and national law in one of the articles.
The author gives historical and philosophic perspective of the issues of women.s status in Russia referring to the basic international human rights documents. Specific focus is given to political and economic situation of the early 90-s in Russia in terms of women.s human rights.
Ekaterina Chaika and Alexandra Abramenko from Information Center of the Independent Women.s Forum presented materials about the International Conference on Human Rights for Development. The Conference dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Human Rights Declaration took place on September 2 - 4, 1998 in Yalta, Ukraine. The event was organized by different UN agencies in collaboration with the Ukranian Government. It is remarkable that Russia was represented by men only, including Valeri Kartashkin from the Human Rights Committee of the Russia Parliament. Five working groups were focused on such issues as democracy, human rights implementation, status of human rights non-governmental organizations, women.s human rights, economic and social rights.
Elena Tonchu, President of Krasnodar Regional movement .Women of the 21st century., Ukraine and a member of International Union of Economists focused her article on the issues of women.s employment. Women is the most vulnerable population group in terms of employment in the current economical situation. However, the author states the need to be aware of one.s rights. She presents information on national and international legislation which any woman may refer to in order to stand for her rights, with the main focus on the rights of pregnant women and the issues of equal payment.
Two articles are about the projects focused on the issues of violence against women. One of them is dedicated to the fifth anniversary of the Regional non-governmental organization ANNA (.Association No to Violence.). Problem of violence against women is universal; there are a lot of myths supporting this phenomenon. ANNA . s work is focused on changing attitude to the problem of violence; for this purpose educational programs are designed for general public, social workers, law enforcement agencies, government officials. One of the major educational events was National Educational Campaign on Domestic Violence launched in 1997 and supported by the Ford Foundation. Trust line and .face-to-face. counseling have been provided for battered women at ANNA since the very first days of its work. In 1996 the Association joined Russian Lawyers Advocacy Project focused on creating multidisciplinary teams in several crisis centers of Russia. Currently ANNA is in the process of setting collaboration with law enforcement agencies, Moscow government and Russia Parliament (.the Duma.).
Russian Lawyers Advocacy Project was launched by Women, Law and Development International (WLDI) in 1996 in six cities of Russia, such as Moscow, St.Petersbourgh, Saratov, Murmansk, Irkutsk, Nizhni Tagil. The WLD staff, Gabrielle Fitchett, a US lawyer and Larissa Ponarina, a Russian crisis center counselor, are focused on implementing coordinated approach in the above mentioned crisis centers. Teams including two lawyers and one crisis center counselor work in each center. Series of specific multidisciplinary training workshops have been organized for the teams, more workshops will be developed for the next phase of the Project. Currently Project participants are also focused on educational activities.