List of issues and questions in relation to the ninth periodic report of the Russian Federation *
1.In accordance with the State party’s obligations under articles 1 and 2 of the Convention and in line with target 5.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals, to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, and given the continued absence of a comprehensive definition of discrimination against women, which includes direct and indirect discrimination in the private and public spheres and intersecting forms of discrimination, into its legislation, please explain why the State party considers that “no additional provisions on the prohibition of discrimination are required in federal legislation” (paras. 3–6). Please provide information on whether the State party is allocating the human, technical and financial resources for the implementation of article 5.62 of the Code of Administrative Offences and articles 136 and 145 of the Criminal Code (paras. 4 and 5) on the prohibition of discrimination and how such implementation is monitored and evaluated.
Women’s access to justice
2.Please provide information about the systematic training of judges, prosecutors and lawyers on women’s rights, and information about court cases concerning discrimination against women, including any in which the Convention has been directly applied or referred to in court proceedings. Please also provide information about the collection of sex-disaggregated statistics by the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Russian Federation and the outcomes of the petitions received in 2017 and 2018 (para. 15). Please indicate how many women have benefited from the legal work of the 243 legal clinics, and how women’s rights are integrated into the educational project entitled “School for human rights defenders” and the open lesson under the project entitled “Human rights” (paras. 17 and 19).
National machinery for the advancement of women
3.Recalling its follow-up letter dated 17 December 2018, the Committee requests the State party to inform it about further actions taken to ensure gender-responsive budgeting for the national strategy for women for the period 2017–2022, and whether the strategy can be applied under all policies and programmes at all levels to address various aspects of women’s lives. Please provide information on the measures taken to adopt the law on gender equality in full compliance with the Convention. Please provide information about the midterm results of the national strategy for women 2017–2022, including with regard to the participation of women in education and science (para. 40), in political and public life (para. 87) and in the labour market (para. 118), as well as with respect to the prevention of social disadvantage of and violence against women (para. 61), women’s digital literacy and skills (para. 118), and sex-disaggregated statistics (para. 204).
4.The Committee notes that the reaccreditation of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Russian Federation with A status by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions has been deferred owing to the crisis caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Please describe the efforts made to implement the recommendations made by the Subcommittee on Accreditation of the Global Alliance to institute a clear, transparent and participatory approach to the selection of members and to expand the Commissioner’s mandate to include the ability to address human rights violations resulting from the acts and omissions of private individuals and entities.
Civil society and non-governmental organizations
5.Please provide information on the number of organizations working on women’s rights that are deemed to be acting as foreign agents and on those that were closed since 2015.
Temporary special measures
6.The Committee notes the challenges faced by the State party in adopting by law temporary special measures (para. 39; and CEDAW/C/RUS/8, para. 140). Please provide information on the measures taken and efforts made to familiarize all relevant State officials and policymakers with the concept of temporary special measures to achieve de facto or substantive equality between women and men, as recommended in the Committee’s previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/RUS/CO/8, para. 18). Please also provide information on any positive actions to address the specific difficulties faced by the most disadvantaged groups of women.
Stereotypes and harmful practices
7.Please provide information on the measures taken to put in place a comprehensive strategy to eliminate stereotypes and patriarchal attitudes concerning the role of women and men in the family and in society. Please provide information on the steps taken to encourage the media to create a self-regulatory mechanism for addressing degrading representations of women.
Gender-based violence against women
8.The Committee recalls its follow-up letter dated 17 December 2018, in which it requested the State party to provide information on further actions taken to revise the amended Criminal Code, which decriminalized non-aggravated battery, and adopt comprehensive legislation to prevent and address violence against women, including domestic violence, introduce ex officio prosecution of domestic and sexual violence and ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted and adequately punished. The Committee notes the creation by the President of the Federation Council of an interdepartmental working group in July 2019 to work on legislation to prevent domestic violence (para. 47). Please provide updated information on measures taken to criminalize non‑aggravated battery against women and girls, and to introduce ex officio prosecution of domestic and sexual violence. Please clarify whether lack of consent is defined as an element of crimes of sexual violence in criminal legislation. Please provide information on the number of cases of violence against women and girls – including sexual violence – reported and prosecuted, and the type of sanctions imposed, disaggregated by sex, age, nationality and the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. Please indicate the number of cases of violence against women that a justice of the peace refused to hear under article 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Please provide information about existing protocols for health workers to provide assistance to women victims of violence and to report incidents to the police. Please describe measures taken to adopt a law to prevent and address gender-based violence.
9.Please explain measures taken by the State party to provide mandatory capacity-building for judges, prosecutors, police officers and other law enforcement officers regarding the gender-sensitive application of criminal law provisions on gender-based violence against women and gender-sensitive investigation procedures. Please provide information about the application of attenuating circumstances in cases in which women are convicted of murder in self-defence in cases of domestic violence.
Gender-based violence and harmful practices against women in the North Caucasus region
10.Please provide information on the number of cases of gender-based violence against women in the North Caucasus region that were reported and prosecuted, and the type of sanctions imposed, disaggregated by sex, age, nationality and the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. As recommended by the Committee, please describe measures taken to conduct research on the extent of harmful practices against women in the North Caucasus region; adopt standardized procedures for the police; train legal professionals, law enforcement officials and medical personnel in addressing child and forced marriage, abduction of women and girls, crimes in the name of so-called honour, female genital mutilation and polygamy. Please clarify whether female genital mutilation is prohibited in the North Caucasus region.
Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution
11.Please provide information on steps taken to adopt a national action plan to combat trafficking in persons and establish a coordinating body responsible for its implementation. Taking note of the data provided in paragraphs 68 and 73, please provide that data disaggregated by sex, ethnicity and the age of the victims. Please provide information on measures taken to repeal article 6.11 of the Code of Administrative Offences and to monitor violence against women involved in prostitution, including by the police. Please also provide information on rehabilitation and/or reintegration programmes provided to women and girls who are victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation, including programmes that involve shelters and crisis centres, and measures to reduce the demand for prostitution.
Participation in political and public life
12.With reference to paragraph 84, please provide detailed information about the awareness-raising measures carried out to increase women’s participation in political and public life targeting politicians, community leaders and journalists, disaggregated by type of target audience, number and sex of participants, and location. The Committee takes note of the information provided in paragraph 88 about the number of women in the Government; please also describe measures taken to increase women’s participation, such as setting statutory quotas or adopting temporary special measures. In relation to table 4 in the annex, please provide information on the measures taken to increase the number of women in legislative and executive positions of authority at the municipal level, and data for the past three years. Please also provide information about women’s access to campaign financing. Please explain the gap between women representing 32 per cent of diplomatic staff but only 12.7 per cent of diplomats in missions abroad, and provide information about measures in place to recruit more women into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (para. 94).
Women and peace and security
13.Please provide information on the efforts to promote the meaningful inclusion and participation of women in peace negotiations and in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts, in particular with regard to the extraterritorial obligation of States parties, as previously recommended by the Committee (CEDAW/C/RUS/CO/8, para. 30).
14.Please explain in detail how the compulsory curricula for primary and secondary education address comprehensive, gender-sensitive and age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health and rights education (para. 116). Please detail the measures taken to review school curricula and textbooks to eliminate negative stereotypes of women and girls.
15.Please provide information on measures taken to raise awareness among employers in the public and private sectors of the prohibition of discrimination against women in employment. Please indicate measures taken to promote the equal sharing of family and domestic responsibilities between women and men, such as by introducing compulsory paid paternity leave in line with article 11 of the Convention and with the Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No. 156) of the International Labour Organization. Please explain the reasons for keeping the exceptions listed in paragraph 125 as restricted occupations for women and provide information about the involvement of women and women’s rights organizations in revising the list of restricted occupations (para. 127). Please clarify the meaning of paragraph 126, which appears to suggest that the employer has the right to employ women without restrictions when safe working conditions are created, instead of the right of women to be employed in safe work conditions without restrictions. Taking into consideration that article 132 of the Criminal Code on sexual assault (para. 128) does not cover discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace, please provide information on measures taken to adopt a law in that regard as previously recommended (CEDAW/C/RUS/CO/8, para. 34 (c)). Please provide information on measures taken to increase the number of women who enter formal and non‑traditional fields of employment, thereby contributing to eliminating occupational segregation and wage gaps between women and men (para. 130), to carry out a gender assessment of the family policy and to include the principle of gender equality in national social policy (CEDAW/C/RUS/CO/8, para. 34 (d) and (e)).
16.Please provide information on the barriers restricting women’s access to safe abortion services (CEDAW/C/RUS/CO/8, para. 36 (a)) and on measures taken to increase the availability, accessibility and affordability of modern contraceptive methods (para. 137), including to women and girls with disabilities. Please inform the Committee on the number of women who are drug users and those who have availed themselves of the substitution therapy programme referred to in paragraph 141, and please clarify why the programme’s objective to reduce harm does not include the treatment of the addiction. Please provide data, disaggregated by age and region, on the rate of HIV/AIDS among women for the past three years.
17.Please provide data, for the past three years, on the poverty level among rural women; their access to housing, water and sanitation; and on the number and proportion of women who are heads of farms, women in local government and women employed in education, health care and social services. Please provide information on rural women’s participation in decision-making processes at the community level and measures taken to study the impact of the economic and social strategy of rural development on women’s human rights, as recommended by the Committee (CEDAW/C/RUS/CO/8, para. 38). Please also provide information on the number of complaints by rural women received during the visits by investigative departments and the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Russian Federation, the type of rights violations reported, and the redress obtained (para. 175).
Disadvantaged groups of women
18.Please provide information, for the past three years, on the number of indigenous women in decision-making bodies at the local, regional and federal levels. Please explain how federal Act No. 49-FZ of 2001 and the draft federal act submitted to the Government in 2018 (para. 177) ensure that indigenous women have full and unrestricted access to their traditional lands and resources.
19.Please provide information on measures taken to address, in legislation, policies and programmes related to gender equality, intersecting forms of discrimination faced by women with disabilities, including information on measures to ensure that the right to free and informed consent is guaranteed with regard to all medical interventions and treatments. Please describe measures taken to protect lesbian, bisexual and transgender women from discrimination and violence, including with regard to training provided to police and law enforcement officials, including in the North Caucasus region. Please provide information on the number of women arrested in the North Caucasus region on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
20.Please provide information relating to the past three years on the number of undocumented migrant women held in administrative detention, the average detention period, and the number of those women who have benefited from integration policies and family reunification measures.
Climate change and disaster risk reduction
21.Please describe the steps taken to ensure that national policies and programmes on climate change contain gender perspectives in line with the Committee’s general recommendation No. 37 (2018) on the gender-related dimensions of disaster risk reduction in the context of climate change.
Marriage and family relations
22.In the light of the Committee’s previous recommendations on marriage and family relations (CEDAW/C/RUS/CO/8, para. 46), please provide information on measures taken to revise the definition of matrimonial property to include pension rights and future earnings; to protect by law the economic rights of women in de facto unions; and to eliminate by law the concept of ownership of the father over his children in the North Caucasus region. Please clarify how reducing the fine for the late payment of alimony protects the economic rights of women (para. 189).
Impact of the pandemic on women’s rights and gender equality
23.Please indicate measures implemented by the State party in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to redress long-standing inequalities between women and men by placing women at the centre of the recovery as an economic diversification strategy; to meet the needs and uphold the rights of women and girls, including those belonging to disadvantaged and marginalized groups and women in conflict or other humanitarian situations; and to ensure that lockdown measures, whether partial or total, and post-crisis recovery plans do not see women and girls relegated to stereotyped gender roles. Please indicate measures in place to ensure that all COVID‑19 crisis response and recovery efforts: (a) address and are aimed at effectively preventing gender-based violence against women and girls; (b) guarantee that women and girls have equal participation in political and public life, decision-making, economic empowerment and service delivery; and (c) seek to ensure that women and girls benefit equally from stimulus packages, including financial support for unpaid care roles, that are aimed at mitigating the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic. Please explain how the State party is ensuring that measures taken to contain the pandemic, such as restrictions on freedom of movement or physical distancing, do not limit access by women and girls, including those from disadvantaged and marginalized groups, to justice, shelters, education, employment and health care, including sexual and reproductive health services. Please also provide information about the measures taken to protect the lives and health of women health workers, who make up the majority in the health sector.