Women in Russia will soon be able to work in more than 350 job positions they’d previously been barred from under largely unchanged Soviet-era labor restrictions. The country currently prohibits women from holding 456 jobs in dozens of industries that involve physically strenuous tasks or harmful working conditions.
In a recent survey, men were asked “What do you value most in women?” and respondents could choose from 15 different traits and personality qualities. Survey results showed that all men, regardless of their marital or social status — young and old, highly educated and uneducated, married or unmarried — put being a good homemaker as the most important quality in a woman. Men themselves place male domesticity down in eighth place while intelligence is in first place.
Alexander Ryumin / The Moscow Times
Russia's state-run rail company has called on the government to abolish an official list of professions banned for women and to allow businesses to make their own hiring decisions. The Soviet-era list includes over 400 professions in sectors such as metalworking, construction and mining and was originally introduced to protect women’s safety and reproductive health. A section of the list is specifically dedicated to railways, with women legally prohibited from working as train drivers, driver’s assistants, shunters and railway inspectors.
In a phone interview on Saturday, as women around the world — though not in Russia — turned out for the second annual Women’s March in protest of U.S. President Donald Trump, whom many view as a symbol of misogyny, Anastasia talked about the prospects of a feminist movement taking hold in Russia. “There are definitely smart people in Russia who are battling for women’s rights,” she said. “But the audience of a show like ‘Let’s Get Married’ is just not okay with these ideas.” She noted that after she started her campaign, some of those Russian feminists reached out to support her or stated their support of her publicly, which she described as “very encouraging.”
Anastasia Manuilova / The Moscow Times
The softening of the rules means the difference between real and reported violence has grown, she adds. Victims don’t have access to police protection while their complaint is being processed and they have lost their right to appeal police negligence in handling their cases. According to Anna Donich, the head of a crisis center for women in Irkutsk, just two percent of domestic violence victims see their attackers brought before a judge. Since February, she says, that number has dropped further and it is getting harder for victims to get the authorities on their side. “Police are asking victims for more proof,” Donich says. “Only female police officers end up helping them.”