Barred from hundreds of occupations in Russia, a few women fight back


(Economic Rights / Gender-based discrimination / Tradition, Culture, Religion)

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Svetlana Medvedeva cannot rise to the top of her chosen profession for a very simple reason – she is a woman.

The ambition of the 30-year-old mother of two is to earn a much better wage as the captain of a boat on the Volga River, which runs through her hometown of Samara. And with the degree she earned in 2005 from Samara River College, she should be well on her way — or already there.

But with the system in place on the Volga, the occupation of captain requires her to have prior experience as a ship mechanic. And that job is one of hundreds that are open to men only in Russia, according to the law.

A Russian government resolution passed in 2000 prohibits women from 38 industries and over 450 jobs it deems to be “dangerous” or “arduous.”

Adopted during President Vladimir Putin’s first year in office, it was the latest incarnation of Soviet-era regulations that sought to keep women in what the Communist Party once called their “traditional” role of bearing children for the greater good of society.

Read the full article from Radio Free Europe now.