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Gender expertise of regulatory documents and public administration: ways to form gender-sensitive state policy in the Russian Federation

On June 13, Marianna Muravieva, a professor at the University of Helsinki and the HSE Faculty of Law, reported at the scientific seminar of the study and research group. The report was devoted to gender expertise of legal documents and public administration, as well as ways of shaping gender-sensitive state policy in Russia.

Gender expertise as a concept appears in the mid-1990s and is an integral element of state legislative activity. Its focus is on the concept of gender equality, the basic condition for the successful development of society. However, equality is not equal to identity. Thus, gender equality at the level of international law means that all people can make choices without restriction. Differences are recognized, evaluated and treated equally.

The gender expertise procedure includes the following elements:

1. assessment of the compliance of a regulatory legal act with the norms of international and Russian law (in particular, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Constitution of the Russian Federation);
2. analysis of the document for the presence of direct or indirect discrimination;
3. making recommendations and proposals on the document in order to bring it in line with international and domestic regulations on gender equality.

Gender expertise includes general and special parts. The first of them prescribes the objectives of the document, the industry of its operation, the place of the document in the legal hierarchy, its compliance with the provisions of local and international law. The special part contains an assessment of the effectiveness and consistency of the document. Does the document follow the principles of gender equality? A striking example of the contradiction is the Civil and Family Codes of the Russian Federation: if the principle of gender equality is prescribed in the first document, the second is not guaranteed protection against gender discrimination.

Gender expertise is part of gender mainstreaming, which is a framework in which gender expertise is carried out. It acts both at the political and at the legislative level.

In the context of Russian realities, it was noted that in the period of the last five to ten years the “conservative turn” in legislative activity became especially noticeable in the country. Thus, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the will to achieve gender equality and interest in gender expertise were clearly traced in official state discourses: the Federal Law “On State Guarantees of Equal Rights and Freedoms” was introduced and adopted by the State Duma on first reading and equal opportunities for men and women in the Russian Federation ”, the Council for Gender Equality operated in St. Petersburg under the leadership of the then Governor of the city, Valentina Matvienko. However, after 2010, gender expertise has ceased to be submitted for consideration, public statesmen are increasingly turning to “traditional values”, the so-called “anti-gender movement” is observed.

According to the speaker, the lack and lack of knowledge and skills of gender expertise in civil servants in the Russian Federation is, in the opinion of the speaker, a serious problem. That is why it is especially important to teach students and students of specialized educational programs this skill.