Date: Sun, 10 Dec 1995 17:22:47 -0400
Reply-To: Association for Women in Slavic Studies <AWSS-L@MSU.EDU> Sender:
Association for Women in Slavic Studies <AWSS-L@MSU.EDU> From: "Barbara
T. Norton, Widener U" <Barbara.T.Norton@cyber.Widener.EDU>
Subject: Report: Russian Legal Rights Meeting (x-post)
To: Multiple recipients of list AWSS-L <AWSS-L@MSU.EDU>
X-post from the list East-West Women
Subject: REPORT: October Legal Rights Meeting
Network of East-West Women
Moscow Center for Gender Studies
St. Petersburg Center for Gender Issues
On the 14-16 October 1995 in the city of Pushkin (near St. Petersburg) the
conference "Russian Committee on the Rights of Women" took place. The conference
was organized and carried out by the Moscow Center for Gender Studies, the
St. Petersburg Center for Gender Issues and the Network of East-West Women
(with the support of World Learning, Inc. and the MacArthur Foundation). Forty-five
people took part in the conference--lawyers, activists of the women's movement,
representatives of research and legislative bodies of power at the regional
and federal level. The conference was a series of discussions on the questions
of women's rights in our country in the course of the last four years and
was a continuation of 20 preceding conferences of different women's organizations
over the same period of time.
The conference agenda included the following questions:
The summation of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, September
1995). Presentation by Ludmilla Zavadska, Deputy of the goverment Duma, Chairwoman
of the Subcommittee on the Rights of the Individual and Federal Legislation,
"Formation and Development of Legislation in Russia."
Practical application of current legislation in Russia in the area of
women's rights (co-facilitators: Nadezhda Kuznetsova, Association of Women
Lawyers and Svetlana Polenina, Chairwoman of the Commission on the Situation
of Women of the Union of Lawyers).
The participation of Russia in regional and international treaties, conventions
and platforms on the rights of women (Moderator: Olga Lipovskaya, St.
Petersburg Center for Gender Issues; Speaker: Isabel Marcus, Law Professor
at SUNY Buffalo, "A Historical Review of the Rights of Women."
The rights of women and the strategy for making legislation in Russia.
The accordance of Russian legislation with international law in the area of
the rights of women: theory, practice and contradictions (led by Elena Kotchkina,
Moscow Center for Gender Studies).
Education and training programs in the area of women's rights (led by Julie
Mertus, presentation of the book "Our Human Rights: Working Exercise Book
on the Rights of Women").
The future of the Committee on the Rights of Women (co-facilitators: Nadezhda Kuznetsova, Association of Women Lawyers and Tatyana Gerasimova, St. Petersburg Center
for the Integration of Gender Studies).
To receive additional information about the conference "Russian Committee on the Rights
of Women" please contact: "Committee on the Rights of Women" (The Network
of East-West Women/ Moscow Center for Gender Studies) Elena Kotchkina, Adm.
Director of the Project Natalia Mandelbaum, Project Coordinator at the Moscow Center for Gender Studies.
As a result of the conference work, the participants came to the following
To continue working together within the framework of the project
"Russian Committee on Women's Rights"
To carry out work in the framework of this project in several
working groups, such as:
To prepare the report "On the Legal Situation of Women in Russia"
To carry out joint research on "Violence in the Family and the System of Legal Protection Organs in Russia" (Research organizer: Isabel Marcus, Professor New York Law School at Buffalo; Elena Mashkova of Femina in Naberezhnye Chelny; Larisa Koreneva, St. Petersburg Crisis Center; and others.)
To develop training programs on the rights of women on the foundation of the exercise book on women's rights (published in the framework of the program Decade for Human Rights Education, author - Julie Mertus, Doctorate of Law from Yale University); training on the rights of women in Saratov (for workers in the legal protection organs of power, November 1995, organizer - Association of Women Lawyers of Saratov); - training on the rights of women in Naberzhnye Chelny (for students of the government/ management Academy);
To develop infrastructure projects which would help to improve the exchange of information and facilitate access to information about the rights of women.
To give preference to the support of the development of specialized legal consultation for women and the defense of their rights in court.
The formation of a network of women lawyers, representing the women's movement and power organs, journalists for cooperative work and exchange of information on the questions of women's rights.
To support the issuing of books, bulletins & brochures which are dedicated to women's rights.
To create a specialized database on active Russian legislation in the area of women's rights.
To collect/gather materials of practical judicial application of active legislation in the area of women's human rights.
Suggestions to the Government Duma
Give lawyers who are working in the area of women's rights and non-governmental women's organizations information about the preparation of legal projects, parliamentary hearings, etc.
Call upon lawyers of non-governmental women's organizations and lawyers who are working in the are of women's rights for the carrying out of gender expertise legal projects and planning of legal project activities of the Government Duma and Federation Council.
Give lawyers and representatives of women's organizations the opportunity to take part in working groups on the working out of legal projects concerning women's rights.
The Committee on Women, Family and Youth together with the Duma faction "Women of Russia" and representatives of women's non-governmental organizations should draw up a plan for the working out of legal projects and the directional priorities of the making of active legislation by the government Duma and Federation Council, so that social laws get enough time and resources.
Begin the working out of the law for equal rights and equal opportunities of men and women.
Some of the most important legal projects and active direction of the government Duma with which the Russian Committee on Women's Rights is ready to cooperate on is:
the law concerning reproductive rights of women
the law concerning prevention of violence in the family
the law concerning the government's social orders
the examination of the Russian Federation's budget for 1996 (it would be an expedient entry of individual lines for specialized programs for overcoming discrimination in respect to
Suggestions to the National Council of the Russian Federation from the IV International Conference on the Situation of Women (Beijing).
To include in the national platform a special action program "The Rights of
Russian Women," in which there would appear educational and informational
programs, monitoring of the observance of women's rights, development of the
networks of specialized legal counsel for women and research programs.
At the conference "Russian Committee on the Rights of Women" a discussion continued that was begun at conferences and seminars that were held by non-governmental women's organizations in the course of the past four years.
At the first Independent Women's Forum in Dubna in 1991, in the document which stated the many forms of discrimination of women which occured both in the time of Socialism and during the time of Perestroika;
At the second Independent Women's Forum in Dubna in 1992, in the document that noted that one of the objectives and important achievements of the Forum became the problem of women in the area "Social Visibility";
At NPO Forum and International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, September 1994;
At the NPO Forum-94 and Regional Preparatory Conference of the European Economic Union for the Beijing Conference, Vienna, October 1994;
At the 2nd conference of the East-East Legal Committee in Warsaw, August 1995, organized by the Network of East-West Women;
At the conference "From Common Duties to Common Rights" in Sergiev Posad, February 1995, organized by the Women's Consortium, FSU-USA.
At the Conference "Women and Law" in Saratov in May 1995, organized by the Association of Women Lawyers;
At a four conference series "Strategies of the Independent Women's Movement: Before and After Beijing" in Moscow December 1993, Moscow December 1994, Serpukhov April 1995 and Podmoscov August 1995;
At the conference "Sexual and "Domestic Violence" in Moscow May/June 1995, organized by the Women's Consortium FSU-USA and the Center for East European Legal Initiatives (CEELI/ABA).
The Participants of the conference were informed about future follow-up conferences
and seminars at which women's rights questions will be discussed:
the conference "Meeting of Experts" on the question of domestic violence (21-22 October 1995, Women's Consortium FSU-USA and the American Association of Lawyers);
the rights of the individual women in the framework of the conference "The Accordance of Current Russian Legislation with International Legal Norms" (Organized by The International Union of Lawyers and the Commission on Women's Rights, Moscow December 1995);
Round Table "Legal Reform in Russia" (Organized by The Union of Lawyers in Russia's Commission on Women's Rights, government institute and Legal RAN);
the conference " Committee on the Rights of Women in the FSU" (Saratov March 1996, organized by the Network of East-West Women, the Moscow Center for Gender Studies and the Association of Women Lawyers in Saratov);
Round Table on the prepartion of the Report on the Legal Status of Women in Russia (Moscow January 1996, Moscow Center for Gender Studies);
the conference "Women's Rights and Employment Laws" (organized by Women for Social Democracy, beginning of 1996);
"Equal Rights? Equal Opportunities?" (April 1996 organized by the Information-Education Project of the Women's Independent Forum, Coordinator - Tatyana Konsheva);
East European Committee Meeting (Fall 1996, Ukraine, organized by: the Warsaw Center for Women's Rights and the Ukrainian Center for Women's Rights.