The potential of women in the Republic of Moldova is very important for society, but it is not exploited at fair value. For society to become sustainable and prosperous, women need support, encouragement and information to be equally involved with men in the decision-making process and in solving community problems. These are some of the conclusions of the round table "Women in the sustainable development of the communities of the Republic of Moldova", held on August 16, by IDIS "Viitorul".
"The situation of women in the Republic of Moldova is unfavorable for sustainable development of society. Women represent a greater number than men, but they are less represented at the legislative and executive levels. However, the introduction of the double quota in the Electoral Code demonstrates that at central level the suggestions coming from the province are taken into account. Also, we have at the local level many positive models initiated by women that sometimes exceed the results obtained by men, which our institute promotes", said the director of IDIS "Viitorul", Liubomir Chiriac.
In turn, Rasa Ožiūnaitė, Secretary III at the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the Republic of Moldova stated: "It is not a new topic that there is a gender gap in society or that there is that glass ceiling that women have to overcome. And because it all starts in the family I encourage you to educate our sons respecting their women and their rights, to educate them to become partners and not lead by the expression that the place of the woman is at stake".
The panel discussions addressed topics related to the involvement of women in the socio-economic development of communities in the Republic of Moldova, current local policies that support women's involvement, as well as solutions to existing challenges. The event aimed to increase the degree of involvement of women in the social-economic life of the communities of the Republic of Moldova by raising awareness of the role of women in the sustainable local and regional development of the country.
Thus, the participants at the roundtable spoke about the opportunities, but also the constraints of the Moldovan women, and proposed a series of policy recommendations for a sustainable society.
“The women of Moldova are smart women, ingenious women with indescribable creativity. The potential of women in the Republic of Moldova is very important, but it is not exploited at fair value. And whatever does not happen in the family, in the locality or in the country, the woman gets involved. That is why we need to provide support and information to women who want to get hired, remove them from the comfort zone, guide them to be active on all levels. Only then will we all win”, says Iulia Costin, Secretary-General of the State at the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure and President of the National Platform for Women in Moldova. According to her, women entrepreneurs face the fear of failure, the lack of knowledge about managing a business and the impossibility of contracting bank loans accessible for strat-ups. In this sense, Iulia Costin proposes to keep the VAT paid by the economic agents in the field of HORECA at 10% level, elaboration of the Law on the family business, stimulating the startups launched by women or exploiting the female potential through the programs existing support, priority being from rural areas.
And Elena Rațoi, Programme Officer at UN Women in Moldova, stressed the importance of gender equality in community development: “Women are involved locally in solving community problems more than men. Thus, according to data from the 2018 gender barometer, 18% of women attend community meetings compared to 14% men, and 6% of women participate in the development of community projects compared to 4% men. Women are more involved in projects, initiative groups or assemblies, while men are involved in decision-making. In my opinion, there should be equity for both men and women to participate both in decision making and in solving community problems”.
"The polls show that the electorate wants more women in politics, but it does not give them the confidence of change or the possibility of performing in decisive leadership positions. Similarities between women and men are far more important than differences, and men's lives are equally influenced by gender discrimination. Thus, I would like female solidarity, but not for the simple fact that we are women, but taking into account the diversity between us, the common principles and values. We only promote well-trained, competent women, ready to be heard and seen to realize their own potential”, highlights Larisa Voloh, the mayor of the village of Palanca and the president of the CALM Women's Network.
And Valentina Casian, mayor of Strășeni added “A society in which the women's voice is not heard is not less feminine, but less human. In the administration process, I emphasize gender equality and the promotion of women, respecting the principles of transparency”.
In their turn, representatives of civil society stressed the importance of education and local policies in ensuring gender equality that would contribute to the creation of a healthy society.
"Segregation starts in schools and girls who graduate high school are thinking about finding a profession that combines it with their family. One solution would be to introduce an optional course to promote the image of women in society and to study the success stories”, suggests Cristina Cernei, professor at the "Onisifor Ghibu" High School in Chisinau.
"When you want to develop some initiatives at the local level, please involve and encourage mothers who are on childcare leave and these women want to get involved", says Elena Nofit, a communicator at the Center for Information and Documentation on the Rights of the Child.
"We are very interested in some state policies that would change the possibilities of sharing the tasks in the family, such as providing an equal number of days for childcare and appreciation of the father's role in childcare, according to the Swedish model. Let us not forget about the value of the family and the fact that the rights can be realized through partnership”, proposes Andrei Esanu from the federation “Familia”.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the female population predominates among the population, with 100 women returning 93 men. Women live longer than men on average 8 years, life expectancy at birth being 77 years for women and 69.4 years for men. Women earn on average 13.5% less than men (86.5% of men's average salary). Expressed in numerical value, the discrepancy constitutes on average about 813 lei. Thus, the average salary in 2017 was for 5,204 lei for women and for men - 6,017 lei.
For more information about the project, contact Ana - Maria Veverița, Communications Officer, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone (0 22) 221 844.
The project "Local development through equal involvement" is implemented by IDIS "Viitorul" in partnership with the Embassy of Lithuania in the Republic of Moldova, with the financial support of Lithuanian Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Programme. The project aims to support regional development by encouraging women's social and economic activities and integrating gender equality in local communities in the Republic of Moldova.