Promote gender equality and empower women

Where we are?

 Woman working as medical specialist in a military institution Besides gender differences in participation in the decision-making process, women are also at a disadvantage on the labour market. Photo: UNDP/Julie Pudlowski

Gender disparities are not evident in preschool and compulsory education, but nevertheless, they emerge as people enter the labour market and participate in economic and political life. Among elected mayors, the share of women is still very small and stagnant, increasing only marginally from 18.15% in 2007 to 18.51% in 2011; at the rayon counsellors’ level the increase is from 16.48% in 2007 to 18.39% in 2011. At the same time, the increase in the numbers of women on the MP candidates’ list has not influenced the proportion of women among MPs, it stayed at 19.8% in November 2010 and 2011.

Thus, in spite of some progress, reaching the ultimate target is still uncertain in terms of promoting women to key positions. The lack of affirmative action (quotas) legislation, the persistence of gender stereotypes – all these significantly reduce opportunities for women’s participation in the decision-making process. The reform of legislation to institute quotas has promoted further progress towards reaching the MDG targets, and helped to create preconditions for more solid political empowerment of women. Implementation of some gender education programmes for youth, as well as in the general and university education system could facilitate the transformation of women’s and men’s gender roles in the society and in the family.

But, besides gender differences in terms of participation in the decision-making process, women are also at a disadvantage on the labour market. Although provisions for ensuring equal payments for equal work are stipulated in law, gender discrepancies are registered in women’s and men’s salaries. At the same time, the employment rate is constantly lower in comparison with men’s rates, and this fact reveals the existence of some major barriers to the integration of women on the labour market. Thus, ensuring basic conditions for women’s political empowerment (through affirmative actions and training programmes) and economic empowerment (through training and entrepreneurship programmes) is one of the relevant priorities for the post-2015 period.

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