Materials represented by Informational Center of Independent Women Forum
Editor of electronic periodical edition "Vestnichka" - Lydia Yurovskaya
LABORATORY OF GENDER EDUCATION IN MURMANSK
In the city of Murmansk the project of gender education "Let us broaden the circle, colleagues" for lecturers from higher educational establishments was com-pleted on the 2-nd of June by a methodical conference. During the conference its par-ticipants not only reviewed their work but as well continued working out methodical basis of gender education. They formulated a number of basic definitions (gender ap-proach in pedagogy, gender education), discussed structure and contents of educational supplies for students of teacher' training institute.
During discussions the participants expressed general opinion that it was necessary to make the next step in the gender education of the future pedagogues. Association of specialists of different disciplines, who mastered gender concept, should deal with this question.
The pedagogues came to a conclusion that gender education should be introduced on the first-second year of training in order to develop the critical thinking with the students, which was necessary for gender expertise of pedagogical theory and practice. The next training year the participants of the project decided not only introduce gender educational courses in their subjects but as well to continue work over the educational supplies for the students and to work out a model of gender analysis of pedagogical practice.
The conference resulted in establishment of public laboratory of gender education.
ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE "PROGRAM ON PREVENTION OF ILLEGAL EXPORT OF WOMEN AND GIRLS AND INFORMATION SPREADING"
The round table conference "Program on prevention of illegal export of women and girls and information spreading" took place in the conference hall of the hotel "Isetj" in Ekaterinburg on the 27-th of June. The participants of the round table discussed the questions of information spreading and information campaigns on prevention of illegal trade of people, cooperation of mass media with public organizations to prevent sexual exploitation of women. The conference was attended by: Olga Mikheeva, coordinator of programs (AIREX/Moscow), Ludmila Ermakova, President of Sverdlovsk Regional Public Organization - Crisis Center for women and children "Ekaterina", representatives of "Internews" (Moscow), of the Fund of Independent Radio Broadcast (FNR) from Moscow, non-commercial organizations, law enforcement organs and other state and municipal bodies. Elena Uporova, producer, and FNR journalist conducted the conference. The journalists were given videocassettes with video clips and documentary films dedicated to the illegal export of women abroad.
PRESS-CONFERENCE ON THE RESULTS OF THE PROJECT ON PREVENTION OF SOCIAL ORPHANAGE
On the 27-th of June in the city of Barnaul the Altay Regional Public Organization "Mother and child" held a press conference on the results of the realization of the annual project on prevention of social orphanage. The project was realized within the program "Assistance to children-orphans in Russia" (APO), supported by US Agency for International Development (USAID), Holt International Children Assistance Service (Holt), Russian Representation of British Charity Fund (CAF). This organization renders complex assistance to women with little children, suffering from tough life situation. As a rule that kind of women have neither home nor right of permanent residence. On the basis of this organization "Refuge of Saint Duchess Olga" was established, where the family (mother and her child) can stay for several months until mother 'stands on her own feet' and where she is completely secured and supported by the organization. Thanks to it the social orphanage is prevented on the early stage since the refuge shelters women who are very close to relinquish their rights on the child. In realization of the project organization "Mother and child" cooperates with Barnaul maternity hospital No. 11 and city children hospital No. 7. In addition to it the refuge signed a cooperation agreement with Barnaul specialized school No. 81. "The trouble is that 80% of the school graduates are our potential clients since the majority of the girl-students live in the school boarding house"-says Olga Goga, president of organization "Mother and child". A complete team of different specialists takes care of women and their children: psychologist, representative of social security, lawyer, pediatrician and profile physicians when necessary. During the realization of the program on prevention of social orphanage the team rendered assistance to 78 women after childbirth; 30 of them lived in the refuge. Besides, the organization established close links with Barnaul administration, city employment service, and a number of public organizations. As Olga Goga says irrespective of the fact that the program is completed the assistance to the women will continue. However, it is possible that the assistance from the organization can be rendered only to the city citizens since the refuge can provide the living only of 3 families at the same time, though those who need the help outnumber it considerably.
CONFERENCE "WAR AND SOCIETY THROUGH THE EYES OF WOMEN"
Interregional conference "War and society through the eyes of women" took place in Moscow on the 28-th of June; Moscow House of Public Organizations under the Government of Moscow arranged the conference in cooperation with Russian Public Organization "Women Unity". It was attended by representatives of public organizations, executive and legislative bodies, scientists, and servicemen from Daguestan, Chechnya, Moscow, Kareliya, Tula, and Moscow Region. The conference objective was to attract public attention to vital problems of Russian society. The organizers have plans to publish collected articles of the conference.
ALL-RUSSIA SEMINAR "MATERNITY IN THE PLACES OF IMPRISONMENT"
Under the aegis of "International Imprisonment Reform" the all-Russia seminar "Maternity in the places of imprisonment: another point of view" was started on the 28-th of June in Saransk (Mordovia). Three days law defenders, scientists and officials from penitentiary and reformatory institutions discussed concept of joint keeping of mothers and their children in the places of imprisonment. At present the joint keeping of mother and child is already allowed in one of the reformatory colonies of Mordovia - in Dubravlag. However, according to the information from Mikhail Pobudilin, Chief of Department of penitentiary institution ZhKh-385, it often happens so that after discharge some of the mothers-prisoners would "forget" to take their children from the Child House; others would eat the children bottle-feeding or ration on the quiet; others would knit socks for themselves using the threads from the children sweater, delivered to them as a humanitarian aid. That's why law defenders consider that at present it is necessary to pass a law obliging the sentenced mothers to live with children on the permanent basis, to take care of them and to bring them up.
MUNICIPAL FUNCTIONARIES STUDY
Under the aegis of project "Gender Expertise of Regional Legislation" and with assistance from Canadian Fund of Russian Women Support the Regional Public Organization "Women-voters League of Kaliningradsky Region" held a seminar "Gender approach to solving social problems", which took place in Cherniakhovsk on the 29-th of June.
For the second time the citizens of Cherniakhovsk elected woman - Galina Fomenko - to be their mayor; she pays considerable attention to solving social problems, renders assistance to local women organizations, that's why the seminar was attended first of all by municipal functionaries, deputies of the local City Council, businessmen and heads of municipal services.
In the course of the seminar its participants came to know the concepts of "gender" and "gender analysis", possibilities of gender approach to solving social problems, discussed realization of principles of equal rights and equal possibilities for men and women. Mrs. Dementieva A. N., Vice-President of Moscow Women Organization "ECOFAM", and Mrs. Zelinskaya L. N., Chairman of the Committee on Social Politics of the Kaliningrad Regional Duma (parliament), conducted the seminar. The second part of the seminar was dedicated to the training "Ways to be convincing when you speak at a meeting. Preparation for and participation in an interview with journalists", which was conducted by Mrs. Krasnokutskaya T. V., producer of the State TV and Radio Channel "Yantar".
All participants of the seminar pointed out that for the first time they pondered over the fact that the decisions, taken by politicians, could influence quite differently the life of men and women, that it would be necessary to have a gender approach to the decisions and expressed their wish to continue seminars on gender education.
SEMINAR "STRATEGY OF SUCCESS OF WOMEN IN ELECTION CAMPAIGNS"
With assistance of Primorsky Region Administration, seminar "Strategy of success of women in election campaigns" was held in Vladivostok; Mrs. Antonina Romanchuk, Deputy of the State Duma (parliament) of Russia, took part in its preparation and work. The seminar was conduced together with the International Republican Institute. Women-deputies of the Legislative Assembly of Primorsky Region, representatives of the Women Councils of Primorsky Region and Vladivostok were invited to participate in the meeting.
As it was stated by the press service of Primorsky Region Administration the participants of the seminar showed particular interest for low expense strategy of election campaigns. Women expressed their wish to know in details all the nuances of election campaigns. For two days they actively discussed questions of planning and legal support of election campaigns, studied the structure of election headquarters and election schedules.
SEMINAR "WOMEN AND POLITICS"
On the 2-nd of June seminar "Women and politics" was held in Barnaul. Altay School of Political Research and the League of Altay Women-Voters prepared it. Famous women-politicians, specialists in gender research, leaders of women public organizations, lecturers and students of Altay State University took part in its work. The main objective of the conference was to throw light on the role of women and their problems in public and family life. For example, the following questions were discussed: feminism in the West and in Russia, women role in realization of public initiatives of noncommercial organizations of Altay Region and modern strategy of human rights protection by women public organizations. As it was stated at the seminar, irrespective to all the efforts the mass public women movement in Altay was not shaped yet since it had no common ideology. Marie Belousova, assistant of the Chair of social research of the Altay State University, considers that this problem can be solved through education of women in legal questions. That's why the role of women public organizations in Altay Region is so important. According to the data, represented at the seminar, orientations of work of women public organizations are quite different, but the majority of them have human rights protection profile. It should be noted that only one of them does not divide human rights according to gender or status. All the participants shared the opinion that it was necessary to hold the round table conferences, seminars, to publish books on a regular basis in order to throw light on the problems of women in Russia. Larissa Upravileteva, assistant professor of the Philosophy Chair of the State University, said: "We have to do it with due regard of the fact that we have not yet practically set about our discussions on situation of women in Russia".
10 YEARS ANNIVERSARY OF SAINT PETERSBURG CRISIS CENTER FOR WOMEN
On the 17-th of July the Crisis Center for Women - one of the first public organizations in Saint Petersburg to render assistance to the victims of violence - celebrated its 10-th anniversary. The Center was intended to render psychological support to those who suffered from violence. Nowadays it is considered a human rights protection organization. Press-conference "Protection of the rights of the victims of violence. Forming of the city policy towards women" was attended by specialists from the Crisis Center and from the Saint Petersburg Administration, sector of realization of equal rights and equal possibilities for men and women in all spheres of life. Gender "balance" was provided due to the presence of Vladimir Belianko, representative of the Militia Department of the Public Security. He quoted the complete set of stereotypes, connected with the victims of violence, who were to blame themselves. In comparison with it the basic thesis of the fighters for women rights - "The violator should be responsible for violence but not his victim" - was quite convincing and clear. A number of brochures on development of mechanism of women protection during inquest and during the trial as well as advanced copy of "Rights: health and safety of women" were introduced at the press conference.
THE FIRST GRADUATES FROM THE FIRST SCHOOL OF GENDER EXPERTISE
The Summer School on the methodology of gender expertise of the acting legislation, laws in draft and legal decisions was carried out in Kazani in the period of August 1-10, 2002.
13 towns of Privolzhsky Federal Region, 4 Regions of Russia and 3 CIS countries were represented at the Summer School. Total 27 trainees graduated from it. 14 leading experts, representing academic community of Russia, analysts and consultants in politics, economics and law were their teaching staff.
Greeting the School trainees Elena Kochkina, Director of Women web program of the Institute "Open Society", reviewed the stages of gender education and stressed that the present event - organization of the Regional School of gender expertise - was of great importance.
Criticism of the draft Wedlock and Family Code, leveled by Moscow Center of Gender Research in 1992, was the first experience of gender analysis of legislation acts, which coursed resounding echo in public. The draft Code included term "head of family" and stipulated family bank account, which was in charge of the "head of family". It was a considerable regress, cut down of gender equality in comparison with standards and norms of the Soviet times.
The critical estimation of the Code, initiated by Moscow Center of Gender Research, was presented to the Parliament hearings. Wedlock and Family Code was brought to the public discussion on the II Women Forum in Dubna. Detailed analysis of the Code provisions showed to the participants what social problems could arise in case the Code was adopted. The public and eminent politicians supported the activity of Moscow Center of Gender Research.
For the 10 following years a community of experts was formed, which made gender analysis of the legislation practically in all the fields of country life. Only bank legislation and legal acts in international relations are an exception. Experts present their estimation on the Parliament hearings, work with Parliament groups and parties representations.
The Summer School in Kazani signifies the start of a new stage - spreading of the gender expertise of the legislation on the regional and local levels.
The Summer School trainees worked out five themes: women rights in labor and employment; reproduction rights and health; family policy; safety rights in family; legal regulation of business activity. Leading experts of Russia in gender problems carried out the studies. Among them we can mention: L. S. Rzhanitsina, Dr. Economic Sc., professor of the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Science (RAN); S. E. Vitsin, academician of RAEN, Vice-Chairman of the Council on the Court Reform under President of Russia; M. E. Baskakova, Candidate of Economic Sc., senior research worker of ANO "Independent actuary information-analytical center"; E. A. Ballaeva, Candidate Ph. Sc., research worker of the Institute of Social Economic Problems of Population RAN (ISEPN); E. V. Tyuryukanova, Candidate Economic Sc., research worker of the Institute of Social Economic Problems of Population RAN (ISEPN); L. N. Zavadskaya, Candidate Juridical Sc.; E. V. Kochkina, Director of Women web program of the Institute "Open Society"; N. I. Chekorina, consultant of the Committee on Labor and Social Policy of the State Duma of Russia; N. I. Isaev, Candidate Juridical Sc., expert from the High School of the Russian Fund of the Legal Reforms; M. I. Liborakina, Candidate Pedagogic Sc., research worker of the Fund "Institute of the City Economy"; K. D. Krilov, research worker of Academy of Labor and Social Relations.
High educational level of the school trainees (among them 12 Candidates of Science and 1 Doctor of Science), strengthened by knowledge and experience of Moscow experts, practice of cooperation with regional power (there were representatives from two Ministries of Republic of Tatarstan) convince that the stage on the way to the gender equality in our country will be marked with new theoretical and practical achievements.
It is no mere chance that Republic of Tatarstan is in the vanguard of gender development in Russian regions. For a period of several years Women Public Organization "Femina" carries out programs on gender education of the population, specialists of the social sphere and mass media. Effective partnership with a number of scientific and educational institutions in Kazan was achieved in the course of work. Projects of the years of 2001-2002 "Gender component of the social partnership on the local level as a resource for democratic development" and "Women formulating the public policy" were the necessary preparatory stages and the School of gender expertise is their logical continuation. The information base was founded, the network partnership was achieved, and the personnel were selected. Organizational experience of Women Public Organization "Femina", collection of knowledge and practice, business and scientific relations became a guarantee of partners' reliability and permitted to set about the first in Russia regional experiment in gender expertise.
Letters of thanks from the Summer School graduates confirms the success of Tatarstan experiment.
FROM BALANCE IN POWER TO HARMONY IN LIFE
A press conference with above mentioned slogan was held with participation of leaders of public organizations, women organizations, Kulakov I. E., Vice-Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Komi, and Kravchenko G. N., Chairman of the Committee on Social Questions. The press conference was dedicated to the realization of a new project "Balance" in the Republic of Komi. Olga Savastyanova, Director of the Administration Center for Women and Chairman of the Women Chamber, stated that the main objective of the project, which is presumed to be in force till July 2004, is, first of all, to create real possibilities for advancement of women to the level where they can take part in decision making. Union of Women of the Republic of Komi, "Memorial" from Syktyvkar and deputies supported this initiative. Maria Kuzbozheva, Deputy, Member of the Committee on Social Questions of the State Council of the Republic of Komi, will be the head of this work.
The project was motivated by the results of the round table conference on the women status in the Republic of Komi, which was held on May 30, 2002 in the State Council. The report, prepared by the PROON Administration Center for Women and the Women Chamber, pointed out that the number of women in power was not sufficient. According to the results of questioning, carried out in the district centers (Kortkeross, Sysolsk, Ustj-Kulomsk), the overwhelming majority of women (86,4%) consider that women should take part in the politics; 54,3% of women consider that the Republic lives in "democracy without women".
In the State Council of the Republic of Komi of the previous elections (1995-1999) women made up only 8%, of the present ones (1999-2003) they totaled 12 %. In the whole in the Republican institutions of local governing women constitutes less than a half of elected deputies (33%); it should be noted that the results of the elections do not depend on location - whether it is a rural district or an industrial center. For example, the highest percentages of women-deputies - 67% - were registered in Kortkeross district (rural area) and in the town of Sosnogorsk (44%) and the lowest ones - in the city of Vorcuta (10%) and Izhemsky district (11%) (the farthermost northern rural district). Representation of women in power on the level of decision-makers is characterized by the facts that only in one district (out of 20 municipal districts of the Republic) - Ustj-Tsilemsky - the Administration is headed by a woman, 21 women (in comparison with 43 men) occupy posts of Deputy Head of Administration and in three districts both posts are occupied only by men.
The project envisages that already in September the school for future candidates "Partner" will begin its work, it is anticipated that about 30 women from various towns and districts will become its students. Moreover, the project will include local seminars for women active functionaries on legal education, information campaign in the Republican mass media, creation of the women-voters club in the town of Syktyvkar, a series of public actions, directed to change public stereotypes of passive role of women in politics.
One of the participants of the press conference - Igor Sazhin ("Memorial") noted that the gender balance should exist not only in power but also in the heads of voters.
13-TH INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL ON HUMAN RIGHTS
13-th International Summer School on Human Rights took place in Poland in the period from September 7 till September 14, 2002, which was attended by 66 students from the countries of the Central and East Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. Helsinki Committee in Poland and Helsinki Human Rights Fund organized the studies.
The School training program included lectures and discussions on historical and philosophical aspects of human rights, local system of human rights protection, international system of human rights protection and certain aspects of some particular rights: gender equality, rights of minorities, rights of refuges etc.
Among the School students were leaders of public organizations, representatives from institutions of justice, parliaments, ministries for foreign affairs, young lawyers from Albania, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Yugoslavia (Kosovo) and from countries-members of the former USSR, including 8 representatives from Russia.
Along with the League of Kaliningrad women-voters the women organizations were represented by the Women Club "Reoni" (Georgia) and International Center of Women Rights "La Strada" (Moldova). Their activity is mainly oriented on women education in order to prevent illegal export of women abroad.
The Helsinki Fund participated in two projects on women human rights, which were carried out in more than ten countries-members of International Helsinki Federation on Human Rights. The first one touched the problems of women sales and the second one had for an object collection of information on women status in the former Socialist countries and preparation of a detailed report on the subject. The Helsinki Fund also published the report to discuss question of criminality of artificial abortion and necessity to punish for interruption of pregnancy.
The rest of public organizations, represented at the seminar by their leaders, also do not stay aside from solving women problems. They pay particular attention to studying the subject "Women and prisons" and legal protection of women who are kept in the penitentiary institutions. Lyubov Nemchinova, leader of Moldova branch of International Society on Human Rights, is very energetic in this activity in both rendering free of charge juridical assistance and in enlightenment work and in taking care of children, whose mothers are in prisons. Maxim Medvedev from the Byelorussia branch of the Helsinki Committee investigated the situation of women in prisons of different countries of the world and writes a book on the subject. Maxim Kostenko, who represents the Altay Regional Crisis Center for Men and carries out scientific- research work on gender problems, also studies psychological aspects of the situation of women in places of confinement. He draws attention to the fact that gender problems are problems both for women and men that's why they cannot be solved only concerning women - otherwise the gender equality can never be reached.
Participation of women in power was discussed during the practical training, which was conducted by Eva Lentovsky, who is a fine example of successful participation of woman in power. The first ombudsman of Poland, then the judge of the Administration Court and at present the judge of the Constitutional Court of Poland - on any post she was irreproachable and irreplaceable, fulfilling the main function of the power - human rights protection of its citizens.
INTERREGIONAL CONFERENCE "WOMEN RIGHTS AND HEALTH: IINITIATIVES IN THE TULA REGION"
The Tula women do not take enough care of their health. That was a conclusion of leaders of Women Public Organizations and physicians from the towns of Tula Region. The Way of solving this problem was discussed at the interregional conference "Women Rights and Health: initiatives in the Tula Region", which held on September 11.
The conference object was to draw attention to the problems of observance of the women rights in different spheres of life. The laws intended to observe women rights and to protect health, very often do not work. And women themselves and their family relatives do not pay enough attention to health. At present about 10 % of women work under conditions which do not correspond to the sanitary norms. Due to this fact plus due to worsening of the living standard women are more often in poor health. The level of occupational diseases increases. The number of oncology diseases rises. The number of fruitless marriages increases by 2 %. Worsening of women health tells on the future generation. The conference participants are sure that the women health is the health of the Nation, as www.bgrad.ru reports.
ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE DEDICATED TO THE PROBLEM OF VIOLENCE TOWARDS WOMEN IN FAMILY
The round table conference, dedicated to the problem of violence towards women in family was held in Moscow on October 22. The Fund of Civil Initiatives "Focus" and the Russian Association on prophylactics of sexual infections "Sanam" organized the conference. Investigations made by Association "Sanam" in the Center of temporary isolation of underage lawbreakers showed that 34% of girls were raped under age of 18 and did not hand in an appropriate application to the police. According to the opinion of Boris Tsygankov, head of Chair of psychiatry and narcology of Moscow Medical and Stomatology University, it is explained by the fact that violence towards women in Russia is a habit for a long time, it is adopted on the level of sub-culture, but this bad habit should be eliminated. In this connection a new approach to the violence towards women was discussed at the conference. This approach for the first time is approved in the project "Involvement of public health service in solving of the violence problem on the gender basis". The Fund "Focus" and the Italian Association "Women in Development" with support from TACIS-LIEN program of the European Union and the UN Fund of Population (UNFPA) realize the project. The approach is based on creation of a network of municipal, private and public institutions for rendering all-round medical psychological, legal and social aid to the victims. Besides, it is anticipated to introduce regular questioning in the medical institutions for revealing the victims and to spread out information of the service of social, psychological and legal support through medical staff. A special attention will be paid to change public opinion through introduction of education programs, mutual actions with mass media and using Internet technologies. In the opinion of Julia Kachalova, Director of the Fund "Focus", even the preliminary results of Internet questioning, set about by the Fund "Focus", are indicative. The data received shows that more than 60 % of women at least once in life were threatened with violence and as a rule they addressed to their best friends and family members. Women, who were in a crisis situation, emphasized that information of crisis centers and helplines, practical advice from specialists, stories of other women in crisis, psychological training and therapeutic groups was of great importance to them. The similar information is collected by the Fund "Focus" and can be found on www.crisis.ipd.ru