21 july

Moldovan Parliament approves Bill on gender equality in politics in first reading

The Moldovan Parliament has approved in a first reading the draft Law on gender equality in social and political life – by a unanimous vote, including the opposition.

Initiated and prepared by the Liberal Democratic Party deputies, the document stipulates the introduction of a minimum possible presentation of women in socio-political activities and elective bodies at the level of 30%, though the Government was proposing to make it 40%, and the Democratic Party – even 50%.

This minimum quota shall be observed at drawing up the lists of candidates and at forming Government and Parliament Permanent Bureau.

Presenting the bill to the parliament plenary meeting, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Liliana Palihovici, the bill author, stated that the quality of a democratic political system is directly proportional to the degree of citizens’ participation in decision-taking bodies.

Palihovici said that the women’s presence in the Moldovan politics and elective bodies has on the whole grown lately, but is still lower than in European Union countries. In Moldova, women constitute 51.9% population. Women make 51.1% graduates from all-level educational institutions. In the Parliament, however, women constitute only 18% deputy corps, and in local governance organs – nearly 21%. Accordingly, women’s rights are often ignored at decision-making.

The opposition supported the bill, though criticized its initiators.

“In the Communist faction, women have been presented properly”, stated deputy Inna Supac. “When the Communist Party was in power [2001-2009], women used to hold a half of minister posts in government. We realize that you are adopting this law only under the pressure of the local public and European organizations, and because parliamentary elections are approaching, so you want to enlist women’s support, though you certainly know that this law will not be observed in everyday life”.

The bill presupposes amending a number of acts to thus fulfill Moldova’s commitments taken to promote gender equality in the economic, political and social life. In particular, the document stipulates that fathers may go on parental leaves.