Seminar about the Women

Seminar about the Women’s Question

“On the role of communists in the struggle for the parity and emancipation of women”

Intervention by Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Nina Ostanina, deputy of the RF State Duma, member of the CPRF Central Committee

Brussels, March 26, 2010,

Dear participants of the seminar!

Despite the calls of the Russia's today power to celebrate March 8 as a day of praise and worship of all women, under the pretext that firstly, from the date of its establishment passed the whole epoch, and secondly, the idea of equality between women and men in Russia was realized long ago; our Party on this day once again reminded that this wonderful holiday was obliged for its very existence to the great revolutionary woman Clara Zetkin, and the Bolsheviks-Leninists, who committed the socialist revolution in the distant 1917, for the first time realized in practice the idea of women’s equality in economical, social and political spheres.

Russia may justly be proud of its contribution to the development of equality between women and men.

We have long no direct gender differentiation in rights.

If at the moment of the establishment of the World Federation of Democratic Women in 1945, only 30 countries provided women with equal voting rights, and women on a par with men were allowed to hold public offices, then in Russia in the early 20th century (in 1918), with the formation of the world's first socialist state, the equality between women and men was proclaimed and secured by the fundamental law of the country - the Constitution.

And although, as you know, within the past 20 years, our country while hiding behind the guise of political and economic reforms is moving towards wild capitalism, in the issues of the equality of women in a broad sense, the elimination of all forms of discrimination modern Russia is still a successor of the socialist Russia.

Moreover, as far as during this time both the legal side of "female" issue and the idea of equality have found the necessary decisions and become increasingly accepted, today in Russia it is unfashionable to talk about gender equality, the facts of discrimination on the sex grounds.

Most of the problems associated with discrimination against women are hidden and very difficult to be recognized by the authority.

In the structure of Russia's government there is no an institute, which would have been assigned responsibility for the fight against discrimination against women in all its forms.

It proves directly the failure to comply with the commitments made by Russia in accordance with the UN Convention ("On the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 1980).

In essence, this function is being undertaken by the women’s public organizations, of which, according to official data, Russia has more than 300 (300 regional and 22 federal ones). A distinct place in this series occupies patriotic All-Russia Women's Union "Hope of Russia", initiated by women-members of the CPRF faction in the Sate Duma. It has branches in all Russian regions, and is extremely annoying for the power, which prefers to send to all the existing official International women's organizations, the women that are close to the authorities, or the representatives of the created by the very same authorities and financed by them, the so-called "female" unions.

It is easy to understand that, taking orders from the authorities, they try to ignore or not notice that in the issues of the protection of women's rights the contemporary Russia is far to be an advanced state.

A deliberate reduction of women's rights protection to the measures of social protection, demonstrates the dangerous trend of taking women out of political life.

Otherwise, how can we explain the fact that, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union in terms of female representation in national parliaments, Russia ranks 82 among 188 countries in the world that have the legislature?

The same say analysts at the World Economic Forum in Davos in the report "Global gender gap", where, according to the aggregate data Russia occupies the 45th place out of 128 due to the lack of the opportunities and low political representation of women in elected bodies. In terms of the number of women in the government, we have come down to the 121st place.

To correct the situation can be quite simple: to adopt the Law "On the state guarantees of equal rights, freedoms of women and men and equal opportunities for their implementation". For already seven years this Law has been the subject of sharp and irreconcilable debate in the State Duma. And the reason of it is the unwillingness of the authorities at the highest level - the president and the government - to move from words about of women’s equality - to the real deeds. To move from decorative representation of women in power in the face of the three women-ministers, who unfortunately have accepted men's rules in Russia's political life, and have forgotten that the most important thing today, in times of crisis is to protect the most vulnerable groups: women with children, young people, the aged – rather than the financial structures and the oligarchs; and instead of having women– pseudodeputies from the pro-government faction "United Russia": gymnasts, ballet dancers, that  adorn the Parliament, but, unfortunately, do not reflect the sentiments of society, – turn to the reasonable, actual equality in accordance with the Law. And quite a few is required to achieve the result: the political will of the power.

Otherwise the women themselves, as it was in Russia in February 1917, will press this power.

There are several reasons for this.

The first one is the inability of modern Russia's power to cope with the crisis, due to which the decline in production has reached 10%, and resulted into increased unemployment and, above all, the "female" one.

And, considering that in each third of the Russian families with children it is the woman, not the man, who earns the bread, it turns into a real tragedy: the child loses the opportunity to attend a kindergarten, to receive additional education in school, to study in a university (only 30% of Russian students are studying on budgetary basis).

Therefore, the Communists in the Sate Duma have rejected the Program of anti-crisis measures proposed by the Government, where in the "manual control" mode it is supposed to bailout 295 particular companies, the owners of which are close to the power of the oligarchs, and the money are allocated to major banks.

No place in the anti-crisis measures has been found to ordinary people: a woman, a child, an old man. The fact has led to numerous protests all over Russia. Among the most active organizers of the protest actions are the regional offices of the All-Russia Women's Union "Hope of Russia".

The deputies of the CPRF faction have submitted in the State Duma a draft of the federal Law "On measures of the state support for families with children", designed for the crisis period.

We have proposed to increase up to three years the paid child-care leave and consider the child upbringing as socially useful activity with the inclusion of these years to the years of pensionable service, to increase child benefit payable for children under 16 years (today in 30% of the Russian regions it makes 6 euros!), to take care of pensioners and students.

None of our suggestions has been adopted under the pretext of lack of funds.

Although the mechanism of our social program’s realization is simple – that is the socialist principles of natural resources’ nationalization in the interests of the popular majority. It has frightened the power, but received the support of the population according to the voting results in favor of the CPRF in this March. We are the second party after the "United Russia" by typing more than 20% of the vote, regardless of the administrative resource and the falsification of election results.

Dear participants of the conference!

The problem of combating the "feminine" unemployment has long ceased to be national one. And today, as well as 100 years ago, at the First Women’s Congress, we speak of it as of the principal one.

Women in contemporary Russia in search of the source of earnings are becoming the objects of gender exploitation. The export of young women for sex work, prostitution is worrying phenomenon. Over the past ten years dozens of criminal groups engaged in traffic in women under the guise of employment agencies has been revealed.

The state is indifferent to the issue, considering it to be minor one, as well as another issue, even more acute: the export of Russian children by foreign nationals for adoption.

Here the position of Russian women- communists is firm: none Russia's child should be deprived of its homeland.

We advocate the moratorium on foreign adoptions, especially by U.S. citizens, where over the past few years 16 Russian children have been killed by the adoptive parents.

Many efforts have made women-communists for protection of children from the media, promoting cruelty, violence, pornography.

Realizing that the porn industry is international in nature, I suggest the conference participants joining efforts in combating this dangerous type of business that kills women and children morally and physically.

Dear women!

100 years ago Clara Zetkin called progressive women in the world to unite in the fight for their rights and human dignity.

Today this call sounds with new force, because we, women, oppose the world capitalist golden billion united in its desire to go on ruling, and we can win only by uniting our efforts.

History knows examples of joint efforts that led to the victory.

Perhaps the main one among them, we received in May 1945, when we defeated the worst enemy of mankind - fascism - only because shoulder to shoulder with the Soviet soldier, who reached Berlin, fought your grandfathers, fathers and mothers.

We celebrate on May 9 the 65th anniversary of the Victory Day. I congratulate you on this glorious date!