Friday, April 29, 2016

Russian Federation: The lack of the National Machinery 5/7

There are other major obstacles in establishing a comprehensive response system to violence against women in Russia. One of them is that currently in the Russian Federation there is no National Machinery that would correspond to the definition of the Beijing Platform of Action. Although in 2010 as a result of the CEDAW recommendations to the State Report the Russian government established an inter-agency Council on Gender issues under the Ministry of Labor, the status of this Council does not respond to all the requirements. The Council rather has a consultative status and does not have power and resources to influence policy making on the part of the State in the area of advancement of women and contributing to gender equality.

Another mechanism within the Parliament of the Russian Federation is the Committee on Family, Women and Children that was initially established to serve as the National Machinery. At the beginning the Committee was functioning in compliance with its objectives. However, today the Committee acts in conformity with the recent discriminatory trends in terms of women’s human rights. For instance, the former head of the Committee Elena Mizulina proposed an amendment to the Russian Constitution, making the Russian Orthodox Church central to national and cultural identity, including the area of women’s human rights. Thus, Ms. Mizuling introduced a bill to remove abortions from the list of free medical care, restricting state medical coverage to abortions only in cases where the mother’s life is in danger, as well as introducing fines for abortions in private clinics. 

This report is prepared by a group of experts under leadership of “ANNA” Centre for the Prevention of Violence. The Report covers areas of concern in regards to women’s rights especially violence against women with assessment of the state system of tackling violent incidents against women, hence the emphasis in the report on the analysis of the current law and practice.

The monitoring was conducted in Russia in 2010—2015. The monitoring results do not claim to be comprehensive; however, they do provide a general assessment of the situation, identify key problems and trends, evaluate the steps taken to resolve them and analyse existing obstacles. The list of violent incidents contained in the report is neither exhaustive nor representative; however it is a vivid illustration of the nature and scope of violence committed against women in Russia.
 Drawing by Violeta Doval Henández

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