Women's Economic Role in Russia

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Women in post-Communist Russia face violent crime, high unemployment, low wages and bear most of the responsibility for domestic duties. A colossal rate of alcoholism have given Russia one of the highest proportions of widows of any nation. The vast majority of Russian women must work full time to survive. They are also expected to do the bulk of the cooking, shopping, and childcare. Yet women earn, on average, only 40 percent as much as men and are three times as likely to be unemployed. Violent crime against women, including rape and spousal abuse, has also increased. Women's participation in paid labor outside the home was one of the defining features of economic life in the former Soviet Union. Levels of women's employment increased rapidly following the introduction of a communist system in 1917. Since 1989, women have comprised 53 percent of the Russian population reflecting the WWII casualties. Women's share of the labor force decreased somewhat after the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, when they comprised 53 percent of the labor force. At 51 percent in 1995, it is still among the highest in the world, and most women continue to be employed outside the home. During the Soviet era (1917-1991), women were employed in all sectors of the economy. Today, as then, some sectors have a proportionately higher share of women than men, such as trade and food services, information, health and social welfare, education, culture and the arts, science, credit, insurance and finance, and state administration. Women's proportion of the labor force in these areas has declined since 1991. The level of accessibility of income-producing occupations for those who desire and are able to work depends first of all on the competit... ... middle of paper ... ...mination laws.  Address gender issues in the workplace with public awareness, training, and counseling programs.  Foster public discussions of gender roles and an articulation of women's economic needs.  Improve communication between business women's associations and policy makers on critical socioeconomic issues.  Promote training and education on the full range of business and management issues. All of these strategies will make the women's continuing economic transition into a market economy easier. And will hopefully bring about a change in Russian policies and Russian ideologies. The fault for the gender inequalities and hardships of the women lie in the old-world traditions in an old-world country. The change in the world's view on gender issues is moving quicker than the people can change their own view.
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