The main topic of this issue is implication of the so called law on monetization (Federal Law # 122 from 24 August 2004) and women▓s rights.
This topic was discussed in three Russian regions (Samara, Chelyabinsk and Irkutsk oblasts) within the first stage of a project which is currently being implemented by Women and Information. One of the materials of this issues is a description of the project. It includes two other topics: Labor Code and women▓s rights, and Housing Code and social rights of women. Three public hearings devoted to these problems are going to be held in each on the said regions.
Three materials published of the issue are the resulted from the public hearings conducted in these regions. The key line of all the hearings was a statement that a new order adopted by the Law # 122, when a major part of social privileges, benefits and allowances became a responsibility of a subject of Federation, increased vulnerability of population and especially women.
The same meaning has a table provided by the Committee on Women, Family and Children of the State Duma (Parliament) of the Russian Federation published in the issue. It shows that the situation with the allowances for families with children differs from region to region. So the implementation of the right for these allowances is unequal.
The major part of the current issue of the journal is the review of the achievements of the Committee on Women, Family and Children of the State Duma (Parliament) of the Russian Federation for the period from 2004 to 2007.
The activities of the Committee have been focused mainly on social support of families with children as well as on creating favorable conditions for childbirth and raising children stated in the messages of the President of the Russian Federation to the Federal Council of the Russian Federation. Thus, fourteen federal laws have been adopted so far. This measure has led to improvement of financial situation of families with children. It is important to mention that for the first time non-working parents has acquired the right to receive benefits.
Three newly adopted laws declared that women with children whose husbands are in military services have the right to benefits. The significant innovation in the field of legislation is the amendment on maternal (family) capital stated in the federal law on additional governmental measures on support for families with children. This law has been adopted in order to empower families to have more than one child.
The issue of improving health care services for pregnant women was also on the agenda of the Committee on Women, Family and Children of the State Duma of the Russian Federation during the reported period. Besides, the measures on improving financial situation of families with low income have been taken. The Committee also initiated several laws on social and legal protection of children in difficult life situations, such as orphans, children with limited physical abilities, homeless children. The plans for the following three years are to spend 2,5 times more funds on supporting families, mothers and children than it was spent within the reported three years. The Committee▓s activities were focused on cooperation with scientific organizations and non-governmental agencies. 30 events were held by the Committee, such as 9 parliamentary hearings, 15 round table discussions, the traditional International Meeting of Women in Parliament of the State Parties of the CIS.
It the current issue of the journal one may find the table list of achievements of the Committee on Women, Family and Children of the State Duma. The list has included the types and amounts of child benefits provided in all regions and republics of the Russian Federation, benefits for single mothers among them. The information in the list dates back to June 2007.
The other list is a compilation of the amendments introduced into the legislation in the field of women▓s rights and protection of families. The author has presented the articles amended, dates of adoption, texts of amendments and the commentaries.
An empowering article has been presented by Olga Tischenko, a psychologist working in a colony. The author has shared her impressions and speculations about isolated life in colony, particularly about women▓s life. Olga Tischenko has included the fragments of her interviews with the employees of the colony and even the fairy tale written by one of them. The isolation and specific relations between the people in colony make an impact of the future lives of employees and the convicts. However, many women dedicate their lives to changing other people▓s lives for the better. The author of the article is one of them.
The current issue has also included a significant document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 19 December 2006. This is the Resolution on intensification of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women.
The Resolution provides the definition of violence against women which means any act of gender-based violence in public or in private life. It is important that the General Assembly urges States to take action to eliminate all forms of violence against women by means of systematic interagency approach through national action plans. In terms of the above mentioned it is particularly recommended to exercise due diligence to prevent all acts of violence against women; to provide training and capacity building on women▓s human rights for health care workers, law enforcement agencies, social workers, teachers and other professional groups. It has been decided to continue the consideration of the issue at the sixty-second session of the UN General Assembly under the item ⌠Advancement of women■.
Other two documents is short summary of the UN Secretary-General▓s in-depth study on violence against showing that in countries around the world, a number of promising practices to prevent or respond to violence against women have been developed by States, NGOs and civil society organizations. Yet States worldwide are failing to implement in full the international standards on violence against women. The first document shows the failed obligations and promises from the State around the world. The second lists the measures that have success in fighting violence against women.