Staunton, April 15 – Approximately 20 percent of all senior political posts in the Russian Federation are held by women, according to a study published by the Utopia portal, a figure which ranks Russia 81st among 156 countries surveyed, after Uganda, Honduras, and the United Arab Emirates (mediautopia.ru/story/upravlencheskij-patriarxat-skolko-zhenshhin-naxoditsya-u-vlasti-v-rossii/).
The share of women in such senior posts, ministers and members of parliaments, naturally varies across the Russian Federation; but “in all the regions of the North Caucasus Federal District, the number of women in executive and legislative positions of power is lower than for the country as a whole” (kavkazr.com/a/31203007.html).
North Ossetia comes closest with 19.4 percent of its senior positions occupied by women. Daghestan has only three of 33 ministers and only eight of 90 legislatures who are female. In Adygeya, women hold only 13 percent of these posts, in Karachayevo-Cherkessia, that figure is 14 percent, and in Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria it is 16 percent.
In Chechnya, however, there is not a single woman in the government or among the 41 deputies in the republic parliament, a reflection of Ramzan Kadyrov’s neo-traditionalist Islamic approach and of his own authoritarian power to impose his undeniably sexist views on his Grozny regime.
Vita Chiknayev, one of the authors of the report Utopia has published says that Kadyrov “views women exclusively as mothers and wives and does not recognize their professional qualities. [He] has even called upon women to put up with violence in the home and accept their own denigration by relatives as the norm.”
Earlier studies of the state of female representation in Russia by the World Economic Form in 2006 and Transparency International-Russia in 2019 found similar patterns, an indication that despite many efforts by women in the region and some in Moscow, little has changed in this regard under the rule of Vladimir Putin.
And that concerns not only the overall percentage of women in positions of authority but their roles. Both in Russia as a whole and in the North Caucasus in particular, even when women do rise to political prominence, they are typically confined to ministries and committees focused on what many view as “women’s issues” such as education and similar social issues.