Moldovan NGOs have collaborated to produce a shadow report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to supplement the government’s official report. The shadow report seeks to illuminate the gaps between the stated responsibilities of the Moldovan government in upholding CEDAW and the reality for women in the country. It finds that although formal equality exists not only in the Constitution but in a recently enacted statute (Law regarding assurance of Equal Opportunities for Women and Men), discrimination against women remains rampant.
The report focuses much of its attention on the difficulties women face in the labor sphere. Specifically, it points to unequal wages between men and women, a serious lack of female representation in professional positions, poor working conditions, and widespread sexual harassment in the workplace. Furthermore, provisions of the Moldovan Labor Code bar women from jobs entailing heavy manual labor and discriminate against pregnant women and mothers. These factors serve to aggravate the existing vulnerability of women to financial dependence and poverty. The report also cites ignorance about the prevalence of violence against women and the existence of damaging stereotypes about the role of women as hindrances to gender equality.
In discussing the legal framework of gender equality in Moldova, the report indicates that although important steps have been taken to formalize the concepts delineated in CEDAW, much work remains to be done to transform those concepts into a daily reality. It calls for increased funding to implement anti-discrimination laws, advocates for the eradication of the discriminatory provisions of the Labor Code, and encourages the Moldovan government to prioritize gender equality and take proactive measures to comply with CEDAW.
Compiled from: "The Alternative Report of Evaluation Regarding the Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women," coordinated by Elena Burca, president of the Forum of Women Organizations from the Republic of Moldova and Valentina Budrug-Lungu, president of the Gender-Center, 2006.