The replacement of the governments the past few years didn’t yet mean change of their attitude to the problems of vulnerable or discriminated categories of society. The attitude didn’t change either towards the necessity of ensuring social inclusion, where each person enjoys decent living conditions and their rights are respected, said representatives of the Coalition “Voice of the Roma” and the Center “Partnership for Development (CPD), who formulated a number of relevant recommendations for the future Government.
In a news conference at IPN, Alina Andronache, communication and advocacy specialist at the Center “Partnership for Development”, said the Gender Equality Index shows Moldova regressed the past year. This means that all the measures taken by the authorities either didn’t have an impact or were implemented not fully. One of the inequalities is witnessed on the labor market, with the withdrawal of women from the labor market, especially those with children younger than six, being the most pronounced one. The gender pay gap for 2020 was 17,000 lei. The last data show that only 22% of the children aged one-two were engaged in early education services, etc.
Alina Andronache considers that to considerably improve gender equality in Moldova, the authorities should undertake to do reforms, such as the extension of public crèche services. For the purpose, the financial resources allocated at present should be trebled. The legislation should be amended so as to offer the employers the possibility of organizing optional childcare services at the workplace.
CPD insists on the childcare leave reform. According to Alina Andronache, the current situation is good, but should be considerably improved. The childcare leave should offer maximum flexibility to every family, regardless of their wellbeing. For the purpose, the authorities should divide this leave so that the parents can go on leave simultaneously and measures to motivate and encourage the fathers to go in childcare leave should be implemented. A package of laws should be adopted to reduce the pay gap. Such a bill was introduced into Parliament and CPD is hopeful that this will be adopted. The legislation on workplace harassment should be reviewed and supplemented. The Center, together with other partners, proposed a bill to this effect and they hope the MPs will undertake it.
Ion Duminică, a member of the secretariat of the Coalition “Voice of the Roma”, formulated a set of priorities for the government. Among the most important ones is the creation of a bureau for persons of Roma ethnicity, which would work out, assess and implement policies for the Romanies. Regrettably, these policies are now the responsibility of different intuitions of the local public authorities and they cannot be implemented efficiently. This priority was included in the Government’s agenda in 2015, but due to the political instability the bureau wasn’t set up. Such an institution is needed for implementing the new action plan for supporting the Roma population in the Republic of Moldova for 2021-2025.
Another priority is to create health offices in settlements that are populated primarily by Romanies. Given the pandemic, the access of all the persons to primary medical assistance should be ensured. Ion Duminică said the Roma in Schinoasa, for example, do not have access to drinking water so as to wash their hands and also to ordinary medical assistance, including during the pandemic. The service for community mediators should be extended to over 100 persons in localities inhabited primarily by Romanies. According to official statistics, over 9,000 Romanies live in Moldova at present, but Ion Duminică’s data show the figure is much higher, of about 250,000.