Source: Pro Feminism – Russia

24/01/2011 5:20 pm

Recently we have witnessed a number of statements made by high-ranking representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), which affect women’s dignity, rights and freedoms and justify discrimination and violence against them.

Take, for example, the head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for Relations with the Armed Forces, Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov, who made sexist, discriminatory and chauvinistic statements, which were in contradiction with The Constitution of the Russian Federation and The Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (ratified by the Russian Federation). While for the government it is certainly necessary to take measures to address high abortion rates, Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov suggested forbidding abortion by law and the introduction of a criminal penalty for having an abortion. While it is the position of the UN that there are not enough women in power, Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov tries to convince Russian women that they engage in politics – an activity deemed to be unsuitable for women – only because their family life is unsuccessful.

Addressing the conference on ethnic relations, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the Synod for Church Social Relations, re-iterated two false stereotypes at once – that immigrants are prone to violence and women themselves should be blamed for being raped.

The pressure group “Pro Feminism” calls for action against these discriminatory statements by the Russian Orthodox Church and urges people to sign the petition to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, head of the ROC, asking him to repeal the ROC’s discriminatory policy against women and demand high-ranking members of the Church to apologise for their statements.

To sign the petition go to following link: