On 24 November, the Gender Faction of Yabloko, ALDE member party in Russia, hosted an international online conference with international participants from ALDE member parties focussing on protecting women’s rights during COVID-19 lockdowns, drawing from experiences across country borders.
Chair of the Yabloko party, Nikolai Rybakov, opened the conference and spoke about the key aspects of how the pandemic affected women’s rights in Russia: “I support the ideas that the Gender Faction have been advancing in the Russian politics and largely due to the work of the Gender Faction and Yabloko the ideas of protection of gender equality have been increasingly penetrating into Russian politics. It is important that you decided to speak about protection of women’s rights during COVID pandemic, as all that has been happening during the pandemic is a kind of test for any state, a test for respect, solidarity and observation of gender equality."
Galina Mikhaleva, head of the Gender Faction of the Yabloko party, in her speech indicated that Yabloko is the only party out of 50 Russian parties with a gender faction and a programme targeted at protection of women’s rights. She also spoke about the information activities of the faction as regards prevention of gender based violence.
Olga Nemanezhina, Ukraine head of the Rada of Women’s Initiatives NGO, head of the women’s branch of the Syla Lyudey party, spoke about the experience of Ukraine indicated that during the pandemic many women were transferred to distant work or flexible schedule; the result of this made the Ukrainian Parliament introduce notions of “distant work” and “flexible schedule” into the Labour Code.
Corina Fusu, of Partidul Liberal party and ex-Minister of Education of Moldova, said that women were in the forefront of combatting COVID taking care of their families, especially children and the elderly, and also women are those taking the largest risks professionally – as mostly women work in such professions as teachers, medical workers and social workers.
The event was moderated by Olga Radayeva, First Deputy Chair of Yabloko's Gender Faction and head of Yabloko International Relations, and also heard interventions from Tinatin Khidashili from Gerogia, Chair of the Civiс IDEA, Minister of Defence of Georgia (2015-2016), Belarusian Eugenia Ivanova, who is Co-Chair of the feminist organisation “Adliga: Women for Full Citizenship” and Co-Editor of the feminist almanac “Women in Politics: New Approaches to Political”, Tanja Jungqvist, a local councillor of Svenska Folkpartiet in Finland and Olga Shtannikova, Head of the Apparat of the Ombudsman for Human Rights in St.Petersburg and member of the Yabloko party
You can rewatch the event here or below
Photo: Screenshot from the event recording, featuring Yabloko Chair Nikolai Rybakov