In the start of the year Moscow’s subway has employed female drivers, one of several hundred job categories opened up to the fairer sex. Finally the updates got changed in the Moscow and it’s a welcome return for opportunities formally rescinded two decades ago — even if it came with a special-edition Barbie.
But this is just about first few steps in women empowerment, the moves only scratch the surface of changes Russia’s women really need to see in 2021. Research shows that while they have historically participated relatively equally in the workforce, Russian women still earn almost a third less than men — one of the widest gaps among high and middle-income nations.
As elsewhere, they’ve been more harshly affected by the pandemic given their over-representation in hard-hit sectors like retail and the fact many hold more precarious jobs. The Law came in 2000 kept women from 456 occupations deemed too dangerous, arduous or unhealthy, including working as a lumberjack, fighting fires or driving tractors.
A 2019 decision to open 356 of those came into effect this year. It’s good news, especially for women in Russia’s traditional company towns, and a symbolic win with economic consequences — together, those 456 roles represent 4% of all occupations.
The problem runs much deeper. Russia celebrates International Women’s Day with flowers and a public holiday, and has high-profile female figures like Elvira Nabiullina, governor of the central bank. Yet two in three Russians say they wouldn’t want a female president, according to a survey last year by pollster VTsIOM. Sadly, that figure has risen since 2016.
Russian women have to step up for the well-being regarding future of Russia’s women empowerment. It’s an odd thing to talk about and Russia being a developed country raises the expectations positively about such topics.
It can also widen the talent pool. The corona virus crisis has offered an opportunity for the government to encourage remote working. That could provide crucial options for more women. They’re frequently more highly educated and healthier than their male counterparts, but are often left out causing such things.