1999 г.
Архив журналов | Содержание _


Materials compiled for the current issue are focused on the issues of domestic violence as well as on the issues of women's health and women's rights in the field of labor.

Editors included a brief review of the speech on the issue prevention of domestic violence presented by Olga V. Samarina, Deputy Chief of the Department on Women, Family & Youth, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, at the Russia State Parliament hearings. Ms. Samarina started her speech with her vision of the issue as one of the basic human rights issues in Russia. She mentioned that violence in general and domestic violence in particular are acknowledged as one of the five major problems by the Government of Russia. This statement is included into the National Plan of Activities on Improvement of Status of Women. Ms. Samarina described psychological causes of latency of this crime, amongst which she mentioned feelings of guilt and fear experienced by abused women; a brief overview of types of violence were given as well. It is crucial to provide victims of violence with various kinds of help; they may get an access to psychological help at crisis centers. Most of the centers are non-governmental organizations; their members become hotline counselors after a specific training on the issues of violence against women and children. However, Ms. Samarina considers those measures to be insufficient; one of the goals should be partnership and collaboration between the state structures and nonprofit organizations.

The current issue of the journal also presents a legal document, the explanatory note to several federal law drafts. It is focused on domestic violence which is acknowledged as a crime. The most frequent victims of domestic violence are women, children, elderly people. Statistical data show that every fourth family in Russia is violent. The data of sociological surveys states that 40% of victims do not report to law enforcement agencies because they do not believe in legal justice. The situation is especially threatening for children as they are absolutely helpless in a situation of domestic violence, to say nothing of educational institutions. Despite the specific provision on child abuse within the new Criminal Code (Article 156), it is still not easy to prove the fact of violence. However, social support of victims of violence is still ineffective; a number of specific centers and institutions is very low. The situation described above is caused mainly by lack of effective legal provisions on protection of women and children. The following Federal Law drafts provide specific amendments for the Federal Law on social protection of the population, for the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, for the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, for the Code on administrative crimes, for the Law on Police of the Russian Federation. The drafts mentioned above have also been included into the current issue. Elena Tonchu, the President of Krasnodar regional movement "Women of the 21st Century, a member of the International Union of Economists (Kuban Department), is an author of the article "Social Benefits for Women Who Have Children". Ms. Tonchu stated that in the current economic situation women employees are not wanted because they have a right to a number of social benefits. This is why women are supposed to know their economic rights. Types of social benefits for those women are determined by the Federal Law issued on May 19th, 1995. Ms. Tonchu gave information on benefits for pregnant women of different social status. Besides, as she mentioned, article 170 of the Labor Code states that pregnancy should not be a reason for job refusal or dismissal; it contains a list of rights of pregnant women, particularly the right to specific benefits and to short working day. Several decrees on the rights of women mothers were adopted by the President of Russia. The decrees confirm rights to child benefits in relation to a child' age. Ms. Tonchu is also very specific about the issues of additional social benefits for single/divorced mothers/widows. Elena Al. Askarova has presented the article on the ways of improving conditions of women's labor. Ms. Askarova is a member of the Association for Women and Conversion and a head of information department of the Zhukovski Aircraft Research Institute. The author has started the article with the background information about development of labor legislation in the Russian Federation. She has also mentioned that currently forty three conventions of the International Labor Organization are valid in Russia. Ms. Askarova focused readers' attention on the issue of social partnership. In the process of developing market economy ways of managing labor relations are being changed; employees are getting more involved into the process of determination of labor conditions and their development on the basis of social partnership. The significant factor of formation of the legal basis for social partnership was the President Decree on social partnership and labor conflict resolution, adopted on November 15th, 1991; in 1992 the Law on Collective Contracts and Agreements was adopted, with the amendments introduced by the Federal Law from November 24th, 1995. In 1997 in relation to the above mentioned law the President issued the Decree on Establishing the Russia Committee on regulation of social/labor relations. Currently the issue of local legal acts of organization, collective contracts/agreements and labor contracts in particular, are extremely important.

N.L. Krylova is an author of the article about civic/legal status of Russian women living in African countries. There are nearly six thousand Russian women living with their minor children as wives of African citizens; their legal status has become confusing within the latest forty years. Those women remained citizens of the Soviet Union, therefore they were not able to enjoy all their legal rights in Africa: for instance, a right to employment or a right to succession. The author is also focused on the problem of double citizenship within the framework of the Russia legislation; its advantages are valid in the countries which signed the specific agreement with the Russian Federation, for instance, in Egypt, in Angola, etc.. Then Dr. Krylova has presented detailed information about contemporary legal systems in African states. Besides, she has mentioned that nearly all Russian women in Africa consider themselves to be Soviet citizens. However, after the split of the Soviet Union they got into a difficult situation in terms of their status. After the Law on Citizenship was passed in the Russian Federation, many of them applied for the Russian citizenship. For a number of reasons this procedure is rather complicated. However, officials of the related institutions do their best to resolve the problem. Nadezhda Al Shvedova, Ph.D (Politics), the Institute for the USA & Canada, has presented an article about women's rights in health care. Dr. Shvedova has made an emphasis on correlation between a right to health care and other human rights. Besides, she has given a background overview of the legal basis for health care in the Russian Federation from the period of the early 80-s to the late 90-s. The author has also presented statistical data confirming poor condition of health care system for women.Besides, Dr. Shvedova is also focused on the situation of violation of women's rights in the field of labor protection. She considers collaboration between health care institutions and women's movement to be a crucial factor which might contribute to higher quality health care for women in this country. In the process of collaboration women should follow the specific principles developed at the conference of the World Health Organization on the eve of the World Women's Forum in Beijing, 1995. As Dr. Shvedova states, this goal should be a priority in the field of health care for women.

Svetlana V. Polenina , Ph. D. (Law), Professor of the Institute for State and Law of the Russia Academy of Sciences, has presented the article on the issue of legal advocacy for women. Dr. Polenina has focused readers' attention on the international aspect of the problem and the principles of cultural diversity. In the beginning the author has given an overview of International Labor Organization, its specific characteristics and Conventions. Convention # 100 adopted in June 1951has become crucial in terms of working women's rights. The document stated the principle of equal payment for men and women for work of equal value. Dr. Polenina has also emphasized a significant role of Convention # 117 on goals and principles of social politics. Besides, principles of anti - discrimination in relation to women's rights has been also included into the Convention. However, neither the Soviet Union nor the Russian Federation ratified the above mentioned Conventions of the International Labor Organization. Then the author has presented detailed information about the regional legal documents which proclaim human rights on separate continents, such as Europe, America, Africa. In the end of the presentation Dr. Polenina has focused on cultural and historical issues of gender equality.