The article "Women and Power" by Professor Nadezhda A. Shvedova, Institute of USA and Canada (Russia Academy of Sciences), includes statistics showing women's participation in governmental and political structures in Russia; the numbers are very low, especially while compared to the data of the US and Western Europe. The author also gives her ideas of gender approach to political power, revealing myths about women's activities in social and political life; difference between priorities of women and men in politics. Dr. Shvedova is convinced that women politicians are focused mainly on the issues of human rights, elimination of all forms of violence against a personality, health care, employment of women, education. The key point of the article is the following: it is impossible to find reasonable solutions for positive changes in this country without women's active participation in all spheres of society. The author refers to the Constitution of Russia: Article 19 proclaims equal rights and equal opportunities of women and men; this is the legal basis for women's achievements in political and social spheres; Dr. Shvedova also refers to historical background of the issue in relation to the current situation. She presents her suggestions for making changes possible; her ideas are based on the statement of partnership of men and women in politics which would lead to democracy in the whole society.
A.P. Lubimov , Ph.D. (Law), Law Department of the State Duma (Parliament of Russia), has presented information about his book "Lobbyism as Constitutional Legal Institute", published in Moscow, 1998. The author is focused on the idea of developing legal basis for activities of professional lobbyists, political parties and non-governmental organizations.
The journal includes the article by Diane Post, a lawyer working in Moscow for American Bar Association (ABA/CEELI); Ms. Post is an expert on gender issues. This emotional article is a review of the domestic violence issue worldwide; the author is convinced that problem of violence against women is universal. She refers to her background in the United States, sharing her personal reasons for commitment to the problem of violence against women. It is interesting to find out facts about US legislation and activities of American women's non-governmental organizations in terms of the issues mentioned above. The final statement of the article supports the ides of crucial role of non-governmental organizations in empowerment of women, support of women in their struggle against violence and discrimination.
The draft of the Federal Law on amendments into Labor Code of the Russian Federation was adopted on October 16, 1998 in relation to ratification of Convention on Equal Opportunities for Working Men and Women (including working people with family responsibilities). The Convention contains the statement on making women and men equal in taking care of children in family. This draft is really important under the current economical and political conditions. Implementation of this law draft would lead to equality of women and men, on one hand, and on the other hand, it would provide all working people with equal opportunities.
The article about Declaration on Human Rights is dedicated to its 50th anniversary. The Declaration was adopted on December 10th, 1948. The author of the article is Natalia A. Berezhnaya, a Chairwoman of "Peace and Equality" Association, a member of the Moscow Union of Lawyers. Ms. Berezhnaya participated in activities of the UN Secretariat, International Democratic Women's Federation, five UN sessions on status of women and four World UN Conferences on status of women. The author states that the Declaration is the first document in history which proclaimed basic human rights and freedoms. More than sixty documents on human rights have been created on the basis of the Declaration, including International Bill of Rights. The anniversary of the Declaration is a special occasion for further strengthening human rights movement around the world.
The journal includes information about law drafts considered by the State Duma (Parliament of Russia) in the fall of 1998, the draft on amendments into Labor Code of the Russian Federation in particular. The new term "a working person with family responsibilities" has been introduced into the draft; the document states that both parents have equal rights and responsibilities in terms of child care. Besides, there is a special part on support of families with many children in the law draft.
The article on crimes against women and crimes committed by women has been provided by Larissa D. Boychenko, Ph.D, from Karelia Center for Gender Studies. Total number of crimes has grown in the region, violent crimes particularly (among them 14 % rapes). The numbers are taken from official reports; it means that real numbers are higher. Domestic violence in Karelia is a big problem which demands attention of law enforcement agencies, local government, non-governmental organizations. 128 serious cases of domestic violence has been registered in 1998, compared to104 crimes related to domestic violence committed within seven months of 1997. Most crimes committed by women, including minors, have been conditioned by their social and economical status. The author has presented the list of problems which make those crimes possible in the region. Women of Karelia Center for Gender Studies started their collaboration with government officials and officers of law enforcement agencies of their region; they do their best to change their attitudes to the issues of violence against women and domestic violence in particular.
The author of the article on protection of women and children by International Humanitarian Law is Dr. Svetlana V. Polenina. Dr. S. Polenina refers to historical background of the problem with the relation to the current situation in the world; one can find specific facts and details about conventions related to the issue. The author reviews problems of protection of women and children in war conflicts. Information about the related legislation highlights specific Geneva and Vienna Conventions.
Informational part on Labor Code of the Russian Federation includes specific articles with amendments adopted by the State Duma in the first hearing. It is important that most of the Code articles are related to the issues of women's rights; for instance, Chapter 11 is dedicated to women's labor. The new addition to the Code is Article 160 (Chapter 11) is focused on the issue of workers with family responsibilities. Other parts which should be emphasized in terms of child care and equality of women and men in relation to family responsibilities are articles N163, 163-1, 166, 167, 168, 170, 240.
Materials dedicated to the issues of status of women and partnership between women and men are included into the current edition. The issues were raised during the meeting of women - parliament members in the framework of 100th Inter-Parliamentary Conference in Moscow (September 6-12, 1998). The agenda of the meeting included such issues as women's human rights; women in democracy; women's participation in UN activities; etc. The key point of the meeting was discussion of women's human rights; the following issues have been raised: violence against women and girls in was conflicts; violation of women's economic rights in many countries; violation of women's labor rights during the period of economic crises and others. The informational document on improvement of women's status was presented by UN Department. The document refers to historical background of the issue, information about Commission on Status of Women and treaties related to the issues of women's rights; Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and realization of women's human rights in the future. The attachment of the article includes the following documents: Report of the working group N2 on Article 21 of CEDAW which presents information about amendments into the Convention; Report on Actions of Parliaments for Protection of all human rights in the 21st Century. The most important goal for Parliaments is developing plans of national actions aimed at human rights protection through dissemination of specific information and other activities. In terms of gender issues, recommendations for national levels are the following: ratification of the CEDAW; monitoring national plans of actions in relation to women's human rights; implementation of legislation on elimination all forms of violence against women and girls, such as trafficking in women and rapes.
Martina Vandenberg (Women's Network of Israel) is the author of the Report on Trafficking in Women and Coercion to Prostitution in Israel. The Report is an outcome of the research done by Ms. Vandenberg and Ms. Noga Applebaum in June - October, 1997. Fifty interviews have been done with people of law enforcement agencies, government officials, foreign officials in Israel, leaders of non-governmental organizations, scholars and journalists. The author presents statistical data of the Ministry of Interior of Israel presented at the conference in Stockholm in 1996; data of the research done by different investigators. There are many various methods used by criminals for transporting their victims from other countries, such as illegal crossing of the border, tourist visas, fake marriages and fake Ids; there are cases of kidnapping of female tourists. Labor and living conditions of women, ways of exploitation are described in details; besides, one can find shocking information about souteneurs' profits and role of local "mafia" and police in this business. Chapter 4 of the current report is dedicated to legal issues in terms of trafficking problem in Israel; the author gives information about national and international law; specific cases of prosecuting souteneurs and work of police are considered in the chapter, as well as the stories shared by women - victims of trafficking. As far as international collaboration is concerned, Embassy people are almost helpless in resolving the problem; they are scared of criminals (mafia). The report includes a list of recommendations for the Government of Israel related to trafficking in women and coerced prostitution; most of recommendations deals with the problems of adopting specific legislation on trafficking and providing funds for non-governmental organizations supporting women - victims of trafficking.
Summary is prepared by Larissa Ponarina