Gender Issues and Priorities in Republic of Belarus

Gender Issues and Priorities in Republic of Belarus

Albina Sibirskaya (Institute of Economics of the National Academy of Sciences, Belarus)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8443-8.ch003

Abstract

In today's world, sustainable development of society is impossible without gender equality. Gender equality is one of the indicators of the level of democratization of society, the level of its civilization. There are gender-related problems in the world of access to resources and benefits, such as access to education or healthcare and treatment, or wage differentials between women and men. These differences are usually caused, in particular, by the customs of society, religious prejudices, social conditions. Gender stratification in society provokes an uneven distribution of wealth, power, and privileges between men and women in the aftermath. Gender issues are addressed at all levels, including legislation, policies, economic, and social programs. The ultimate goal of integration is to achieve gender equality.
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Introduction

The chapter is devoted to the problems and priorities of the gender policy of the Republic of Belarus. Points of legislative regulation of work of women, their rights and privileges have been revealed. Considering the demographic situation, problems and perspectives of the country, the chapter is written in order to convey to the reader the position of women in the Belarusian society, as well as tools and methods to achieve gender equality of the Belarusian people. The chapter uses the materials of the legislation and Official Statistics of the Republic of Belarus.

Section 1: Introduction

Gender studies in the Republic of Belarus are interdisciplinary researches that uses theories of social gender to study social phenomena and processes. The Center for Gender Studies of the European Humanities University was established in Belarus in the late 1990s. In 2000, the Center opened the first and only Russian-language Master in Gender Studies in the CIS. Its graduates make a significant contribution to the development of a gender database.

In 2002, a large-scale regional information company United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM,2002) conducted an initiative in defense of the rights of women to a life without violence, in which nine countries participated, including Belarus. As part of this campaign, an international study was conducted on the topic “The level of public awareness of violence against women in the family and in the workplace” (Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan). It was a huge organizational, research and analytical work, which allowed to conduct on the basis of the obtained data a comparative analysis of the position of women in the participating countries. With the help of mass questionnaires of various categories of the population, conducting focus groups and content analysis of printed materials on the problem of violence against women, various information was obtained to test all research hypotheses. The study covered about 10 thousand people.

The work confirmed that regardless of the socio-cultural context (East-West) the problem of violence against women cannot be considered in isolation from global social problems and should be perceived as a consequence of gender inequality. The attitude of society to the problem of violence, the prevailing semantic interpretation of this concept are a kind of indicators of social well-being. On the basis of the findings, appeals were prepared to the governments of each state in order to draw the attention of government officials and politicians to the problem of gender inequality and the harmfulness of its consequences. Recommendations were developed for working with different target groups: women, men, young people, elderly people, politicians and public figures, journalists and media editors, children and adolescents, social workers, women's NGOs, representatives of law enforcement services.

In 2014, the Republic of Belarus carried out a national study related to analysis of the sector of the Republic of Belarus (Burova,S. & Yanchuk,O.,2014) the participants of which are engaged in issues of gender equality (initiated by the office of European expertise and communications). During the study, 35 national and international experts were interviewed. The analysis of the information collected helped to formulate recommendations for public policy in the country. They were presented to the members of the National Council on gender policy under the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.

In 2015, a large-scale national study on the use of the daily time was funded by different groups of the population of Belarus (Kukharevic,E.,2016), including gender (UNFPA, UNICEF, the national statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus) was carried out, which showed a gap in the availability of free time for men and women, their unequal employment in the professional sphere, the performance of household duties and the upbringing of children. The data were presented to the public and government bodies, including the National Council on gender policy under the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.

At the micro level, work on gender issues is represented by local descriptive or small analytical studies, which are carried out at the initiative of individual scientists of different specialties, public organizations, as well as in the preparation of master's, diploma and term papers in institutes of higher education. Authors receive their own empirical data with the use of a gender methodology.

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