Moldovan women MPs, in solidarity to support women and vulnerable groups to face the pandemic crisis

UNDP in Moldova
May 6 · 8 min read

In Moldova, women lead the statistics on young people with higher education, single-parent families, gender-based violence, with lower rankings on well-paid jobs and representation in leadership positions.

Online consultation event with local elected officials, March 2021.

However, the 2019 local elections showed a 6.5% increase in the number of women elected as members of local councils in villages and cities, and by 8.6% in district and municipal councils.

The increase in the share of elected councilors is partly due to the application of the gender quota, approved by the Parliament in 2016, with the involvement of the Women Caucus from the previous legislature and with the support of UN Moldova. The common platform for dialogue of the women Members of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova has managed several performances with social impact, such as parental leave, but also political impact, such as the gender quotas of representation of at least 40% of a gender in government institutions and on the electoral lists for local and parliamentary elections.

The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova joins the campaign “16 days of activism against gender-based violence”.
“CHOOSE a life without violence” is the call of the women deputies from the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova who subscribed to the campaign. November 2020.

As a result, the number of women elected to the Parliament increased after the last parliamentary elections in 2019, with every fourth MP being female, which is a record for Moldova, but a modest share compared to the European and regional average. At the same time, although the Parliament is chaired by a woman, for the second time in the country’s history, after a break of two decades, they still remain underrepresented in the Legislature governing bodies.

There is a parliamentary standing committee, namely the National Security Committee, with no woman involved, not even as a member. Analyzing the polls, we can see that only the Chaiperson of the Parliament is in the list of the Parliament politicians, taken into account at measuring the population trust.

However, today, 9 out of 10 teachers in Moldova are women. Also, 95% of medical personnel and more than half of doctors are women. Thus, to a large extent, the challenges and risks generated by the pandemic triggered in 2020, fell on the shoulders of women. Along with challenges that overshadow equal opportunities, new ones have emerged, such as online education, restricted childcare and career advancement.

Senior nurse Maria Griţcan, IMSP Causeni District Hospital: ““ A day of work until the pandemic was like a simple day of work, now it is already a nightmare, with a great fear of infecting ourselves, of infecting dear ones, carry the infection further. We hope things return to normal. We hope, but we also believe. We hope that people will be better, fairer and respect hygiene more. “

In these circumstances, four UN funds and programmes have joined forces to relaunch the Women Caucus, where women can work together to promote inclusive and socially high priority topics.

Within the framework of the UN programme to strengthen the role of the Parliament in improving gender equality in the Republic of Moldova, UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA and UN Women conducted an analysis of the needs for the development of the Women Caucus. A three-year action plan was developed based on the country’s long-term development vision. The documents drawn up have been designed to help the deputies fulfill their mandate, with an impact on society.

Monica Babuc

Thus, the Women Caucus has promoted, despite political differences, bills and policies that come with solutions to the problems faced by women and vulnerable groups, and promote gender equality.

Efrosinia Grețu

Within the UN project, workshops were held with similar Women Caucuses from Serbia and Finland, where the challenges faced by vulnerable groups in the context of the pandemic and solutions for people whose lives have been seriously affected by COVID-19 were discussed.

Online consultation events with local elected officials and exchange of good practices with similar platforms in other countries.

In March 2020, Moldovan MPs held consultations with local elected representatives from almost all districts. More than 300 local elected officials shared their experience of fighting the pandemic and ensuring access to education and social services for the country’s residents.

Svetlana Tabacari, mayor of Scoreni village, Straseni district: “I am in the front line. Many mayors, not just me, were sick. However, the Scoreni City Hall was never closed, everyone worked. Even if one of us was in self-isolation, the other colleagues worked hard on all the requests that came from the villagers. “
Galina Sajin

Following consultations with local elected representatives, several issues were identified, including legislative issues on which, for the first time in the current legislature, members from different fractions began working together. Thus, following the discussions, a bill was drafted and passed by the Parliament which restores the rights of people of retired age who continue to work, especially in such areas as education, where the respective employment contracts were signed for 9 months, being renewed. Thus, people did not benefit from paid leave and other social facilities provided for by the legislation. This inequity has been eliminated with the effort of the Parliament members.

Natalia Cravțova, teacher of Gagauz language and literature, “Nicolae Tretiacov” High School from Comrat, mother of 4 children: “We, the teachers had to work not twice, but three times more. In addition to preparing for lessons, writing lesson plans, we had to prepare presentations for each lesson, and this was reflected in the fact that I practically didn’t have time to help my children, I didn’t have time to treat the children with something tasty; no time to cook. “
Stela Macari

Next, women MPs are working to solve other problems highlighted during the discussions held within the Women Caucus, whether we are talking about documenting young people whose parents are abroad, or about inclusive education that has many shortcomings, aggravated by the pandemic context, or about funding schools and improving social services. By solving such problems, women deputies also motivate other women to be actively involved in the decision-making processes.

Solidarity of women MPs, which overcomes political differences, can change perceptions of many problems in the society. Women MPs have shown that they can work together, transparently and openly, raise awareness, educate and change attitudes, and find solutions.

Launch of the UN campaign “United against violence”, in front of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova. November 2020

Early parliamentary elections will be held in the Republic of Moldova on 11 July 2021. Regardless of the number of women MPs and their pre-parliamentary experience, the UN will continue to assist and support women parliamentarians so that their voices can be heard, and issues identified as a priority for the Women Caucus can be included in the list of public policy priorities.

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