The material posted here was provided to the Division for the Advancement of Women by the Government in response to the Secretary-General's Questionnaire on Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. It has been made available in electronic format from the form received. In cases where it was not possible to reproduce charts and tables supplied, these can be obtained by contacting the Division for the Advancement of Women directly.


Information on the implementation of the Beijing Platform of Action in the Republic of Moldova

Part I

Most of the times the level of culture and civilization of a nation is appreciated according to the situation of women in the society. And the problem of the gender equality becomes more critical.

By ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (which became effective in the Republic of Moldova from January 31, 1994), our country made the first try in the determination of the situation of women at the state level. This politics has been confirmed by Moldova's participation at the IV World Conference on Women in Beijing.

An important achievement in the implementation of the provisions and recommendations of the objectives of the Platform of Actions from the IV World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), was the establishment in March 1997 of a separate direction within the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family- the Direction of Family Protection, its activity is coordinated by a vice-minister. The Direction of Family Protection deals with two very specific areas. The first one is the elaboration and promotion of family politics(which includes the protection of the family, mother and child), and the second area - is the improvement of the situation of women, by promoting and implementing the concept of equal opportunities.

The establishment of a state structure, which aims at implementation the Plan of Action was a highly significant event, it was a proof for the efforts taken by the society toward the acceleration of the democratization process of the social level.

In line with the above, and as a result of participation at the Beijing Conference on Women, the Republic of Moldova next to other countries-members of the United Nations Organization, worked on the elaboration and finalization of the Plan of Action on the improvement of the situation of women and the growth of her role in the society (approved through the Government Decision No.39 from January 15, 1998 ). At the same time, the above-mentioned Plan of Actions follows the objectives of the Plan of Actions, which has been adopted at the IV World Conference on Women in Beijing.

The Plan of Actions has the role of Promotion of a politics which will insure and guarantee the equality among all members of the society. It focuses upon the following main objectives:

  1. The establishment and development of an institutional system for coordinating women's promotion policy;
  2. The monitoring of the current situation of women in the society;
  3. The insurance of the social-economic rights of women
  4. The improvement of the women's social protection system
  5. The protection of women's health care and family planning
  6. Prevention and elimination of violence against women

These objectives are being implemented in collaboration with governmental and non-governmental institutions, specialized in this field. Since the IV World Conference on Women, in Beijing the institutional framework has been extended through the creation in 1998 of a Sub-Committee on Equal Opportunities, within the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, Cults, National Minorities and Foreign Community.

The activity of the Sub-Committee is focused on disseminating the information about and identifying all the recommendations, regulations and other international norms and standards oriented toward these issues, to all the permanent Parliamentary Committee as well as to other interested institutions. The Sub-Committee also facilitates and works on accelerating the legislative process of implementing the principle of equal opportunities.

Another achievement was the establishment within the Government of a separate sector on the social protection of family and children. This sector coordinates with the state structures, responsible for the improvement of the situation of women in Moldova. The Governmental Committee for Women's Issues was established through the Governmental decision of the Republic of Moldova No. 74 from February 2, 1999.

The members of this Committee are representatives of various state structures. The Committee aims at coordinating the activity of public officers, who are bound to change the situation of women in the Republic of Moldova.

Therefore, the institutional structures at the central level have been already established, although they require some essential recommendations. However, there is a need to set up a Department on Equal Opportunities within the Government, which will coordinate the process of implementing the Beijing Platform of Actions:

  1. monitor the principles of the Platform of Actions at all institutional levels
  2. recruit professional staff for these purposes
  3. ensure the control over the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities in all the strategic fields, traced out during the Beijing Conference on Women.

In line with the above, a Gender Focal Point has been nominated within the Direction on Family Protection from the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family. This sector includes two persons from the above-mentioned Direction, whose task is to harmonize the women's situation.

The next important step is the creation of local structures. Regarding the district and municipal levels, it is necessary to establish some local boards, which will have two objectives: guaranteeing equal opportunities for both women and men, and family protection. The direction will be directly subordinated to the local public bodies.

The nominated direction will coordinate the family activities from the district (municipality ) family protection, as well as on assurance of equal opportunities for women and men. It will also have the role of the focal point for raising the public awareness toward this issue and coordinate with the activities of the NGOs, which are activating in this domain.

Another important move toward the realization of women's rights was Moldova's signing and ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Through this fact, the decision-makers have confirmed their availability to integrate in the international process. The first report on the implementation of the provisions of the Convention has been approved through the Governmental Decision of the Republic of Moldova No. 835 from July 30, 1998 and has been sent to UN authorities.

In order to implement the provisions of the above mentioned Convention, certain articles of the Labor Code, Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure have been presented to the experts of the "Governance and Democracy" Project of the UNDP/Moldova.Considering the comments upon the nominated legislative acts, subsequently it has been suggested to modify the art.169, 173, 176 of the Labor Code, in order to extend certain facilities granted to mothers who care after children or to fathers, in case if they are the ones taking care of the child. These modifications will be introduced in order to prevent some special measures, which may eventually lead to a reaffirmation of discrimination against women.

It is reassuring that the final draft of the new Family Code, was submitted for gender expertise and obtained a positive evaluation.

At the same time, draft of the Labor Code was exposed to the expertise of the Independent Expert's Committee from the European Social Court of the Council of Europe.

The fact that there is no law in Moldova, which would forbid the discrimination within the fields of labor, social protection, public and private contracts, represents a serious obstacle in guaranteeing effective gender equality. The Articles 2, 10, 11, 12, 13 of the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women impose certain obligations in this respect. The constitutional protection granted by the Republic of Moldova (art.16) is limited only to the equality regarding legal liability. Therefore, it is necessary to elaborate a Law on the Equal Treatment, which would establish for society an essential role in providing equal opportunities for everybody.

Recently, the first statistical yearbook "Women and Men of the Republic of Moldova" has been published. It represents the first ample statistical report on the situation of women in various domains of the public and private life.

Although some steps on gender equality have been taken, it has not become a priority policy of the state.

We have to admit the substantial proof of our daily experience, in the sense that the obstacles on the way of implementing this objective are a prerogative to the position of the public opinion, without underestimating the juridical, economic and social aspects of the process of guaranteeing equal rights both for the men and for the women.

But the political will, being more developed, has managed to establish an equal support system for women and for men.

On April 30, 1998, an amendment to the article 7 of the Law about the Political Parties and other Social-Political Organizations has been adopted. The amendment has the following essence: " The political Parties and other social-political organizations will promote the principle of gender equality between women and men in the decision-making bodies at all their levels."

Another amendment presented by the Subcommittee was regarding the modification of the Electoral Code and was ensuring the presence of at least 30% of both genders on electoral lists. Unfortunately this amendment did not collect the necessary number of votes.

The new Law No. 186-XIV from November 1998 about the local public administration stipulates that the community (village), town (municipality) has to guarantee equal opportunities for women and men (art.13-i). The approval of the program on guaranteeing equality between women and men (art.18 -y) is also the responsibility of the local council.

But still, when the parties have registered in 1995, the number of women in the parties was 1%, and in 1999, when the re-registration of the parties has taken place, the number of women was 43-45%. Thus, a political maturity can be noticed and even more so - the leaders of two political parties are women.

Here is the composition of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova as of August 26, 1998.

The structure of members of Parliament of

the Republic of Moldova as of August 26, 1999

Persons, Gender desegregated data(%)


Gender desegregated data %





The Communists' Party of Moldova 4 36 10 90
The Democratic Convention of Moldova 2 24 8 92
The Block for Democratic and Prosperous Moldova 1 23 4 96
The Party of Democratic Forces 2 9 2 81
Total 9 92 9 91

Women and Men's participation at the decision-making levels in 1998

Position Total Out of which:
women men
Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova 101 9 92
Ministry 16 1 15
Vice-ministry 52 7 45
Director of departments 5 2 3
Diplomatic and consular missions of the Republic of Moldova 67 5 62
Prefect 9 1 8

It is enough to mention the indicators that illustrate the Moldovan women's condition during the transition period towards the market economy: women represent 52% of the whole population and 51% of the labor force; they provide 50% of the national income; they represent 8.9% of the members of Parliament. There is one woman in the position of a Minister and one woman in the position of a Prefect.

Lately, it has been noticed that the society is trying to change its attitude towards the role of women and the same thing is done by mass media. There are special programs for women, like health care programs and programs on violence. The National Television has the program "We Youth" and "Matriarchate"; the New Ideas Television has the program "Devishnik"; the radio D'or - the program "La Femina"; Antena C has daily programs for women and the National Radio has the program "The Samaritan."

The press is also very active and publishes various articles on the situation of women, some of the newspapers ("Moldova Suverana," "Saptamina," "Flux," "Femeia Moldovei") even have separate pages for this purpose.

By the decision of the Senate as of February 1999, the Center for Gender Issues has been established In the State University of Moldova. Unfortunately, the Academy of Public Administration lacks a similar structure, the main reason being the shortage of funds.

Part II

At the moment, there is no separate budget for the implementation of the idea of equal opportunities. However, there are some financial resources for certain programs oriented towards the improvement of the women's status in various domains. In this way, "The National Program Regarding the Improvement of Family Planning and the Protection of Reproductive Health in the Republic of Moldova for the period of 1999-2003" consists of building a responsible attitude towards family planning and reproductive health as well as towards creating of an effective system of medical and social assistance. This responsible attitude is meant to be built in each individual, in each family, in each state institution and non-governmental organization and in the society as a whole.

The "Program on Staff Re-qualification" has been elaborated as a social protection method of unemployed women, who have children in their care.

In 1998, approximately 11798 unemployed have signed up for training courses, including 7776 women (65,9%). The state service for the utilization of the labor force has cooperated with more than 60 educational institutions from our Republic. These educational institutions have implemented the training on approximately 75 specialities.

Another way of supporting the numerous families is the payment of subsidies. The following table shows some data on the number of beneficiaries and the cost of these services for the period from 1994 until 1998.

See Annex in Excell

Currently, the gender mainstreaming strategy for the state is being elaborated. It will ensure the implementation of the Beijing Platform of Action for the period of 2000-2005.

But the historic experience has demonstrated that no social model-civil, open, and democratic society, law-abiding state, market economy, etc.-is able to function just like this, without involving the human, intellectual and civil potential of the country. When the shift towards a non-totalitarian, non-authoritarian system is really wanted, the state apparatus and structures shouldn't be the only entities taking upon themselves the protection and improvement of society. All the active forces of the society, including NGOs (the Third Sector) should participate in setting up an efficient and harmonized structure of the social architecture of a true civil society.

The orientation towards the integration into Europe and the international community at large definitely needs the establishment of a social architecture, including the establishment of interacting mechanisms between the executive and legislative bodies of the Third Sector, the enforcement of some socially efficient connections, the free access to information and a guarantee of transparency within society's administration.

In this respect, NGOs emerged as a cardinal alternative for improvement women's situation. The failure of previous bureaucratic and paternalistic way of governing, which was ready to answer to all social needs and requirements, as well as the modern context of approaching the institutional system and new forms of responsibility for guaranteeing de facto women's rights have determined the reconsideration of women's role and importance in solving social issues.

Consequently, the Christian Democratic League of Moldovan Women (LDCF) and the Women's Association of Moldova have been formed as social and political organizations. The main goals of the Christian Democratic League of Moldovan Women are as follows: the protection of women's rights, guaranteeing the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process at all levels, women's promotion to the decision-making bodies, establishing equal opportunities for both women and men within all economic, social and political areas. The Women's Association of Moldova was established in order to protect women's rights and set equal opportunities for them so that they would be able to accomplish their own interests. These two organizations focus mainly on politics, because they believe that very soon women will face no problems in the field of human rights. The participation of these parties in parliamentary and local elections has determined some women's presence in our political life. One of these parties- LDCF- participated in elections within one block together with another party, and consequently they have had some success, as they have their representatives within the current Parliament and local public-administration bodies.

The subsequent participation of the Republic of Moldova in the World Women's Conference (Beijing, 1995) was a very important event for the reassessment of the national policy on reconsidering the woman's status within society. Four members of Moldovan NGOs participated at the Conference-including one representative from the LDCF and Women's Association; these participants have totally agreed upon the need to collaborate in this filed.

After the Beijing Conference the "Beijing Group" was established (December 1, 1995), which at the beginning comprised 12 women's NGOs (at the moment there are 20), political parties, academic, professional and business associations, ethnic groups, etc. The main goal of the Group is to continue the collaboration started by the international organizations, through information sharing and different community built projects. The "Beijing Group's" sessions, held on a monthly basis, represent an exchange of ideas upon the activity already done and the one that is going to be carried out. Seminars on different topics, like gender issues, domestic violence (including violence against women) are also being organized.

At the moment, there are 37 registered women's organizations. Their activity is regulated by the Law No. 521-XIII of July 7 1995, regarding philanthropy and sponsorship, and the Law No. 837-XIII of May 17, 1996, regarding public associations. Although their activity covers different fields, such as culture, human rights, social protection, economy, environment, education, mass media, etc.One of the first steps towards the formation of a new united movement was the unfolding of the Regional Women's Conference, which took place in Chisinău during May 18-19, 1995, representing a model of collaboration and information of the public opinion about women's issues. Governmental experts from 18 countries (from Eastern Europe, CIS and the Baltic States), representatives of some international bodies, as well as 13 local and international NGOs participated at this Conference. The Conference has identified the specific district programs oriented towards gender reform, it has reviewed the social, economic and political roles of women, as well as the special weight women have in solving the issue of violence and conflict. On the basis of those discussions, they defined the reforms that are to be implemented in the participating countries, in order to ensure a real equality between women and men.

Furthermore, after the Beijing Conference another event took place- the first Forum of Women's NGOs (November 4-6, 1997, level II), in which almost 20 non-governmental organizations participated. The president of the group is Mrs. Lucinschi - the First Lady of the country. This forum had an impact upon both non-governmental organizations and the whole of society. The working agenda had two important issues: the NGOs' activity consolidation and coordination.

The international practice has already acknowledged that NGOs' involvement into politics is very useful for the state. Since at the moment the problems get more and more complicated, and there is little possibility to solve them, since these difficulties have to be solved first of all by the state public services that have to operate according to their small budget and limited human resources, we believe that it is absolutely necessary to collaborate with different governmental and non-governmental sectors that have similar objectives.

The experience during the last years showed that the social dialog acquires new, particular nuances, by promoting an effective partnership among the Government, representatives of the civil society, NGOs, local community groups and the private sector.

The non-governmental organizations - Women's NGOs can play an important role in the elaboration and unfolding of support and promotion of women's rights programs, in the improvement of women's conditions of life, in raising her cultural level, in disseminating information, in stimulating her participation at the social life.

The achievement of a partnership with the NGOs focusing on women's issues can be oriented towards the following:

-support to NGOs' activity, in order to enhance their social role and efficiency;

-establishment of areas of cooperation with NGOs in implementing a special program on the development and implementation of the principle of equal opportunities for both women and men, the development of a social partnership, social protection and assistance for women and children, reproductive health and training of the population.

The Republic of Moldova has benefitted of the support, cooperation and technical assistance of many international organizations. The main organizations that manifested an interest in the equal opportunities issues were UNDP, UNICEF, the Council of Europe and the World Bank.

The "Gender in Development" project of the United Nations Development Program is working in the Republic of Moldova. The project's team is contributing to the formation of state politics, in order to support and promote the women through the establishment and implementation of state machinery, regarding the insurance of equal opportunities for women and men.


Annex I

Part III

1. Women and Poverty Level

The poverty blast during the transition period can be explained through the combination of the already low standard of living, which dated back to the socialist regime and the new negative processes: lowering of the salaries, decreasing of the wage-earning population out of the total active population, increasing of income concentration, increasing of the unemployed ratio etc.

The poverty level can be observed in the table below. It illustrates the difference between the minimum consumers' basket and the average monthly salary.

1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
The quantitative value of the minimum consumers' basket -


3,36 49,0 271,0 311 388 440 473
The average nominal salary of a national economy worker -


3,25 31,2 108,4 143,2 187,1 219,8 252
The available average income per person (according to the family budget) - total -



- - 85,4




- 135,4




Including: urban -


- - 114




- 162,7




Rural -


- - 60,4




- 119,9





The economical situation of the families of the Republic of Moldova can be pictured by looking at the considerable difference between the average salary, which was 252,6 lei in January 1999 and the minimum consumer basket, which was 551 lei in January 1999:

  1. Rich families - 0,7%
  2. Well provided for - 10,7%
  3. Poorly provided for - 54,6%
  4. On the poverty line - 25,6%
  5. Poor - 8,4%

In most cases, the socially vulnerable layers are affected by poverty: families with many children as well as incomplete families, the unemployed young people, widowed or divorced mothers, children who are in difficult situations, disabled people etc.

All this refers to the transition period, that the Republic of Moldova is going through. This period is characterized by some phenomena, which are new to our country, such as: unemployment, economic bankruptcy, inflation, budget deficits, etc.

This rapid decrease of resources for existence has produced a big shock.

The families which succeeded to gather some resources could endure more easily the lowering of the income. Many families, especially those who were already in a persistent poverty situation before 1990, as well as young families are now extremely poor. For many urban families, poverty does not necessarily mean lack of food. It very often means lack of the apartment, the incapability to pay for it, lack of money for medication in case of illness.

Poverty alleviation is one of the most difficult problems that our young state is confronted with now.

The Governmental priority in terms of social protection foresees the reduction of shocks on the population's level of life, as a result of the reforms.

Recently, they began to talk repeatedly about the "feminization of poverty," meaning that women make the majority of the unemployed and there are a big number of mono-parental families, where the only contributor is the mother.

Poverty is especially affecting the women, who come from afflicted categories:

a) women, who are married and are giving up work in order to raise their children, and their husband's salary is not sufficient for the family's support;

b) women, who get married very early, with no profession or job before marriage, who do not look for or do not manage to find a job later;

c) women, who bring up one or more out of wedlock children;

d) separated or divorced women, who have to raise children, and the pensions are not sufficient (fathers avoiding paying them or being unemployed);

e) unemployed women (their number increases).

The case of unemployed women-heads of the family in dramatic indeed.

In fact, the legislation of the Republic of Moldova guarantees the nondiscriminatory right for work and equal pay for a similar amount of work.

In the case of the people who have to support children, there are legal stipulations, meant to improve the situation (payed maternity leave, medical leave for taking care of the small sick child, the possibility to interrupt the activity in order to raise the child, financial help at birth, different allocations for children, etc.)

2. Education

As far as education is concerned, there are some specific measures in the Republic, aimed to eliminate the discrimination against women and offer equal rights for the access to studies and similar education conditions (examinations, manuals, programs, scholarships, physical education etc.) and to health protection services.

Thus, during the recent years, there has been an increase in the number of women from the total number of students at high education institutions (Universities and Colleges). In 1997 there were 55,7% women, compared to 55,3% in 1996. At the same time, in 1997, the number of women with high education per 1000 people comprised 15,7 people compared to 14,6 people in 1996. It has been registered that the number of women in the primary and secondary education has increased with 1%, i.e., 80%, compared to 1996. Also in 1996, 52% of the doctorands were women, and the percent of women who have signed up for doctors' degree in 1997 was 55,3.

The number of women in vocational schools by professional groups (as of the beginning of 1997/98 school year)



Number of women among students


As % of the total number of students

  1994 1995 1996 1997 1994 1995 1996 1997
Total 17770 18150 18742 18712 55 58 56 57
of which full time students 15810 16547 17172 17131 57 59 57 57
Of the total number, those who were in educational institutions in the following fields:                
industry 2760 2951 3055 2945 44 47 48 50
construction 317 344 370 340 22 23 25 24
law 17 816 1263 1930 1 60 39 45
transportation and communication 519 583 525 389 21 24 21 15
agriculture 1370 1429 1531 1528 32 34 35 37
economics 2231 1846 2218 2873 67 72 69 70
health care 4574 4176 4000 3430 88 87 89 90
education 4890 4979 4741 4117 93 92 92 92
arts and cinematography 807 740 763 692 48 49 52 51


Female students represent 55% in the entire education system, while in vocational schools-57%. Most of the students study teaching (72% in higher education institutions and 92% in vocational schools) and health care (66 and 90% correspondingly).

In this way, more than half of the didactical personnel of our Republic are women. It is both a professional prestige and a social disadvantage.

The educational norms set the obligatory minimum requirements for the various levels and steps of education, without discriminating on the basis of gender.

The primary curriculum, according to which the undergraduate curriculum on different subjects is elaborated, includes the respect towards general-human, social and cultural values, as well as the understanding of some principles, including the principle of elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. Whereas the art.6 of the Law on Education is completely pursued, the Republic of Moldova found itself in a situation, when half of the didactical professional staff are women. This fact is worthy to be noticed as a tendency of domination from the part of feminine activity, but at the same time it is also a disadvantage on the labor market.

3. Women's Health

As far as health protection is concerned, the Government of the Republic of Moldova has undertaken a series of measures concerning the intensification of the control over medical assistance offered to women and children. Thus, the national Program on the improvement of medical assistance for 1997-2002 has been adopted. It includes the implementation of new technologies for taking care of pregnant women, their adequate checkup and mortality decrease. There have been some positive consequences, as a result of these measures. For instance, in 1997, the infant mortality per each 1000 live births has decreased with 2 percent, although it is still high - 19,8 cases. The population's birth rate per 1000 people, has increased with 0,7 percent.

Private medical care is being gradually introduced in the Republic of Moldova. During the transition period, the system of free medical care is undergoing many difficulties, conditioned by the economic and financial crises from the country. The financial allocations for medical services have been considerably reduced. Only 35% of health care protection necessities for 1995 (4% of the global national product, i.e., 316 lei) and 64% for 1997 - have been covered by the state budget. The majority of the medical institutions, with the exception of the Republican ones, are functioning on the basis of territorial finances. They are confronted with many difficulties, like permanent lack of financial means for buying medical equipment and medication, partial covering of the costs for the treatment and alimentation of patients. The market economy foresees medical assistance reforms in the state system, which will include - health insurance and private medical care.

Medical assistance of mother and child

The current Law on health protection envisions the principle of nondiscriminating. The Laws on health protection and on children's rights protection (adopted in 1994) foresee - the offering of medical assistance to pregnant women, mothers and children.

The economic disaster has limited the access to qualified and specialized medical assistance. Taking into account the fact that 53,3% of the entire population lives in rural areas, the pregnant women in the rural areas limit themselves to their village medical assistance, because of the lack of transportation, sufficient telephone lines, fuel in hospitals. Thus, in 1997, only 71,2% of pregnant women (up to 12 weeks of pregnancy), have been taken under medical supervision. One fourth of the pregnant women do not complete their medical investigations and consultations on time, which leads to increasing of the risk at birth, both for the mother and for the child.

The things mentioned above serve as a basis for restructuring the primary medicine, for establishing the family medicine, for the implementation of pilot-projects in some localities.

The majority of deliveries take place in the maternity houses.

Up to 1994, a tendency of maternal mortality decrease has been observed, which in 1994 constituted 23.6 per each 100 000 live newly-born children. It is still rather high compared to the West-European countries. The main causes for maternal mortality are extra-genital maladies, infections and toxic and septicemia complications, abortions, hemorrhages. The majority of maternal mortality cases concern women aged 20-34.

Maternal Mortality by Age Groups





Total 16 23 20
Under 20 2 1 3 5
35 and over 5 10 7 8

The Structure of Maternal Mortality by Age Groups (%)











Under 20





20-30 years-old





35 and over





The unfavorable living and working conditions, the insufficient and irrational nutrition, the unsatisfactory prophylaxis of the women's consultations is also an important part of the women's well-being.

The Law on labor prohibits the use of women's labor during the night time and in the dangerous for health production spheres. The Law also limits weight lifting and supplies certain facilities for pregnant women and for the breast-feeding women. According to the statistical data, 14,3 thousand women have occupations that do not correspond to the sanitary requirements, including 10,8 thousand women in industry, 2,6 thousand women in commerce and public alimentation, 900 women in other spheres.

Very distant from the comfortable and safe labor zone - are the labor conditions in the tobacco and wine-making industry, where the air is polluted with gas and harmful steams. As far as the pregnant women's labor is concerned, it has to be mentioned, unfortunately, that today they have to be involved in all the stages of tobacco processing.

In order to improve the perinatal health, the Government of the Republic of Moldova has adopted and it is about to implement the State Program on "Strengthening of the Medical Perinatal Assistance for 1998-2000". This Program foresees the improvement of medical assistance for pregnant women and newly-born babies, as well as decreasing of maternal and perinatal mortality.

In the nearest future, another national Program will be adopted "Strengthening of genetic-medical perinatal assistance for 1998-2005." Its objective is to reduce the mortality and hereditary pathology in the Republic. The Program has been approved by the Council of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova.

Reproductive Health and Family Planning

Based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization; on the Platform of Action of the International Conference on development from Cairo and on the Fourth World Conference on Women from Beijing, the issues of reproductive health and family planning became very important in the Republic.

According to the regulations of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, the Law on health protection and the Law on children's rights protection, comprise articles referring to reproductive health and family planning, the right to health protection, the right to get information on the individual's condition of health.

It is also possible to have voluntary surgical sterilization, voluntary interruption of pregnancy (up to 12 weeks), as well as the possibility of artificial fertilization and embryo implantation, plus offering of medical assistance to the people suffering from venereal diseases.

The current legislation offers the possibility of medical examination and provision of prenuptial consultations, concerning the marriage and family planning.

A specialized system of reproductive health assistance has been established through the network of regional family planning centers. The Family Planning Republican Center, which has also been established, provides medical assistance, informs and educates the population on the reproductive and sexual health.

During the course of the recent years, more and more women accept the utilization of contraceptive methods, these facts are illustrated in the following table.

Use of Contraceptive Methods (in %)






Women using IUDs (intrauterine devices)






Women using hormonal contraceptives






Although there have been some changes, family planning and reproductive health in Moldova are still problems, that need to be solved. Mass Media and other forms of population's education are still insufficiently used.

One of the main causes that led to this situation is the difficult economic and financial situation of the country. The resources for financing the projects in this domain are limited and the appointed institutions take efforts to obtain financial means from the international organizations.

During the course of the current year, a national program on reproductive health and family planning will be elaborated and adopted. It will be directed to improving the medical services; enlarging the access to family planning services; educating and informing the population, including the adolescents; preparing informative material: brochures, booklets etc., making more wide use of mass media.

4. Prevention and Elimination of

Violence Against Women

Women's rights are an integral part of the fundamental human rights. The Constitution of the Republic of Moldova explicitly provides for the protection of the individual in accordance with human rights; art. 24 par.1 guarantees a person's right to life and the right to physical and psychological health; par. 2 stipulates that no one can be subject to torture or any other penance, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment. Art. 25 proclaims the inviolability of personal freedom and safety. These constitutional provisions, as well as those in the Criminal and Criminal Procedures Codes, and in other special laws, enshrine the right to protection against any form of violence, including domestic violence. Violence against women is a phenomenon which is symptomatic of discrimination against women and differentiation between genders. Unfortunately, in spite of all the efforts, this phenomenon is acquiring alarming proportions, geographical and social expansion.

Domestic violence continues to be perpetrated, and the problem is worsened by the difficult social-economic situation, that people find themselves in, as well as by individual causes such as alcohol abuse, mental disorders, stress, frustration, low level of culture and education.

Violence is an obstacle on the way to equality, development and peace. In any society, albeit to different extent, women and girls are mistreated physically, sexually and psychologically regardless of income level, social and cultural status. The notion of "violence against women" denominates any violent action of sexual motivation that causes or may cause in women physical, sexual or psychological suffering. Violence can be perpetrated in families or in the community at large and is not tolerated by the state.

At present, the frequency of domestic violence, whose victims are women and children, is acquiring alarming proportions. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for the state to control domestic violence since in most of the cases it is reported only when there are severe consequences to violence, the other cases being considered just family conflicts. During the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, governments agreed on the necessity of adopting and implementing laws that would stop violence against women and actively support the ratification and application of all international agreements on women. In the recent years the violence in Moldova has acquired catastrophic proportions. There has been noticed an increase in the number of people in a given group involved in the rape of minors, i.e., persons below 16.

A dangerous trend that has been discovered recently is the increasing frequency of kidnaping children (art. 113 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Moldova). If in 1995, there were only three cases of kidnaping, then in the first quarter of 1999 - 17 cases of similar crimes have been registered. In order to prevent and eliminate violence against women, the Government of the Republic of Moldova, in the wake of the Beijing Conference, has set for itself a number of objectives of paramount importance, among which:

Prevention and Elimination of Violence Against Women

Organizing a complex system of training social workers, appropriate personnel in health care, education and law-enforcement bodies, who would help the victims, who suffered from violence;


Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family, Ministry of Education and the local administration bodies
Analyzing current cases of violence against women and children;


Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family
Setting up a series of programs and publications meant to fight the propagation of violence, pornography, other things that damage the dignity of women; etc.


The State company "Tele-radio-Moldova" and local administration bodies

By signing and ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Republic of Moldova, concomitantly reconfirmed its willingness to join in the international community.

In order to implement the provisions of the above mentioned Convention, certain articles of the Labor Code, Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure have been presented to the experts of the "Governance and Democracy" Project of the UNDP/Moldova.

An analysis of crimes conducted for the recent years (1994- and the first three months of 1998) has shown that women have a share in committing crimes of 9 to 11% of the total number of offenders. For some types of offenses their share is increasing, which forces public authorities to undertake amelioration measures.

The number of murders in which women are involved is increasing.

While in 1994 female involvement was 11.2%, it is now 16.4%. Cases of severe bodily damage have increased from 7.9 to 10 points.

An important factor is female involvement in economic crimes, where every forth offender is a woman.

Of special concern is the implication of women in the drugs business. Over the last ten years the number of people using drugs illegally has increased 20 times and is now 50 thousand.

By April 1, 1998, the police arrested 3064 people involved in the drug business, of which every third was a woman.

This phenomenon is latent, with an upward trend.

5. Women and Armed Conflict

According to the current available data 1% of women is performing their military service in the National Army.

During the armed conflict from 1992, 110 soldiers conscripted by the decree of the Ministry of Defense have died. Out of those 110 soldiers, 102 had families and children. The total number of children, who lost one parent was 194, out of which:

  1. three families with 4 children;
  2. 16 families with 3 children;
  3. 32 families with one child.

6. Women and Economy

The poverty, that the Republic of Moldova found itself in, as a result of the deep economic, social and political crises has affected first of all the women.

Therefore, out of the total number of unemployed, registered at the employment offices by the 1st of June 1998, 20036 were women, i.e., 56,5%.

The women are confronted with difficulties at the time of integration into the new labor market. Consequently, there is a tendency of recruiting men or women, who do not have family obligations. As a rule, the enterprises with a profound financial deficit refuse to employ women, in order to avoid the expenses connected with maternity leaves, children's sick leaves, compensations and subsidies for the poorly provided families etc.

Having the same education level as men, women make 3/4 of the unqualified labor force and are remunerated only 70-80% of the men's salary, although de facto they double their work at home. Therefore, women's pensions are lower than men's pensions, they being affected first of all by poverty and misery.

The level of women's participation in the process of production is much more superior to the level of their implication in the decision-making process of economic politics (4%). The women have less access to resources, credits, income distribution - that is why it is not casual that there are very few women entrepreneurs in large and medium business, and they make approximately 10% in the small business.

The vulnerability of some categories of women, like the unemployed, women from the rural areas, single women, who have to support children and/or adults, as well as old women with low pensions, requires the adoption of some measures, that will offer them real special protection.

The comparative analysis of women's and men's participation in economic life reveals the fact that women represent a significant part of the labor force of the Republic of Moldova both through biological balance and qualification. But nevertheless, the presence of women in many sectors is very low. We can talk about feminine domains of activity, characterized by low salaries and diminished incomes, by women's absence from the economic decision-making positions. These characteristics limit the economic autonomy of women, with an impact on their social status.

The dismissals from work, caused by the restructuring of the economic branches, where the majority of the labor force was composed of women has led to the current level of feminine unemployment, to the general decline of production and last but not least to the subjective and sometimes discriminatory behavior of the economic agents at the time of recruitment.

Besides all those things, the women are force upon by the traditions to execute the role of the main laborer in the house. In addition to their professional activity, the women work also work at home (from 4 to 8 hours daily). For the women of the Republic of Moldova, the double workload is typical and is considered to be something usual. Although the house chores require huge physical efforts, they have a very low value.

In order to improve the situation of women on the labor market, the Plan of primordial measures stipulates the following objectives to be undertaken at this stage:

Guaranteeing the social-economic rights of women

Elaboration of a mechanism to stimulate the economic agents in order to create new jobs for women, especially for women who have to support children


The Ministry of Economy and Reforms;

The Ministry of Finance

Organization of an information service for women, guaranteeing the access to knowledge and learning management skills, administration and entrepreneurship


The Ministry of Economy and Reforms;

The Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family

Elaboration of a support system for the families where both parents are unemployed and for unemployed women, who are the only supporter in the family


The Ministry of Economy and Reforms;

The Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family

Organization of a series of seminars "how to initiate your own business" for involving the families in entrepreneurship


The Ministry of Economy and Reforms;

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce

Elaboration of a system for the organization of women's labor at home


The Ministry of Economy and Reforms;

The Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family;

local public administration bodies

In order to reduce the impact of the transition process on the labor force in general, as well as on different segments represented by women, we can state the following:

The population affected by unemployment in the Republic of Moldova is protected by Law No. 878-XII "Concerning the Utilization of the Labor Force," which has been approved by the Parliament on January 21, 1992. The current legislation foresees a series of social guarantees for the people affected by unemployment. They benefit from services of being placed in the labor market, they follow professional training courses, they have the right to get subsidies for unemployment and other social payments throughout a period of nine months. Unemployment subsidies are paid to the people, who have been discharged from their jobs as a result of changes in the organization of labor and production, including the liquidation and reorganization of enterprises; reduction of the number of staff, to the people who have stopped their work activity as a result of contract expiration; to the young people, who have served in the military etc. The Law also guarantees this right to the unemployed women, whose period of taking care of the child up to three years has expired.

7. Women at decision-making levels

According to the present legislation, the women's status in the Republic of Moldova, does not represent an obstacle to women's presence and advancement in the new democratic institutions, set up after the declaration of independence. Therefore, the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova stipulates that all the citizens of the Republic of Moldova are equally liable before the law, they have the right to choose and to be chosen in the ruling bodies and guarantees the right of women to hold any position according to their education (art. 16, 38,39).

Contradictorily to these provisions, to women's percent in the active population, to their level of education and to their professional competence, the access to women's participation in the elaboration and application of economic and social development politics and similarly to their assuming decision-making responsibilities, is very insignificant.

Wherefore the women represent 52% of the whole population, constituting 51% of the labor force and discerning 50% of the national income, they only make 8,9% of members of Parliament (1998 Parliamentary elections). However, there is a certain increase in women's share if compared to our former Parliament (where the women represented only 4,8% - 1994). There are only one woman-Minister and one woman-prefect. This representation is much more inferior to the European and world representation.

Although the women participate in the social and political life of the society, they are practically not promoted at decision-making positions inside their political parties. There are political parties, where women constitute an imposing percent of all members. But they are not promoted at the administrative bodies of their parties neither at the local level, nor at the national level. As a result, the women have a low representation on the electoral lists and they miss the chance to influence the decisions taken by the particular political parties. The existence of several social-political women's movements proves that the women want to get involved in politics. Usually, these movements are part of electoral blocs, but this is the only way that certain number of women could be promoted in eligible bodies.

Women's absence from the political decision-making process has more consequences. The women are left out of their important rights and responsibilities as citizens; their opinions and interests are excluded at the time of decision-making and creation of politics. Their voices are absent from the key-decisions on the adoption of the national budgets and establishment of governmental priorities. Their opinions are very often not heard, poorly represented or ignored.

The limited participation of women in the decision-making and public positions is detrimental to the society as a whole. In this way, the society lacks real sources of intelligence, professional competence and valuable civic experience, that have been acquired by women during their direct confrontation with historical hardships and realities. That is why, the idea of the promotion of women and of their implication in the decision-making process has to be included in a global political strategy, where the equality dimension between women and men will become an essential component of the implementation process of a real democracy.

The plan of primordial actions has been adopted by the governmental decision No 39, on January 15, 1998, taking into consideration the fact, that the acceptance and promotion of the role of women are essential for the creation of a political approach, which will be favorable to equality, promotion and respect towards the human rights. The Plan of Actions envisions the following directions of activity:

The institutional system for coordinating the

promotion politics of women in public life

Establishing of a permanent committee on women's issues in the Government


The Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family
Elaboration of the mechanism of implementation of the gender mainstreaming conception in the Republic of Moldova


The Ministry of Economy and Reforms,

The Ministry of Justice, The Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family, The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport,

The Department of Statistics

Elaboration and implementation of the conception, concerning the growth of women's role in the administration of the state.


The Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family,

The Department of Statistics


8. Institutional Mechanisms of Women's Advancement

The amendment to the article 7 of the Law about the Political Parties and other Social-Political Organizations has been adopted on April 30, 1998. The amendment has the following content: " The political Parties and other social-political organizations will promote the principle of gender equality between women and men in the decision-making bodies at all their levels."

Another amendment presented by the Subcommittee was regarding the modification of the Electoral Code and was ensuring the presence of at least 30% of both genders on electoral lists. Unfortunately this amendment did not accumulate the necessary number of votes.

9. Women's rights - Human Rights

As it has been mentioned, according to the Law, the equality between women and men is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova. The internal legislation of the state guarantees the equality between women and men even if the laws, concerning personal rights, usually, do not anticipate this fact.

The women as well as men in the Republic of Moldova, enjoy equal methods for the protection of their rights.

The women have similar rights with men at the point of signing property contracts, they can sue or act as a defendant.

The whole legislation and jurisprudence are based on the principle of equality between women and men. There are no cases in jurisprudence, when a juridical decision is discriminatory and is causing prejudices for women, because of their gender.

As far as choosing or changing the place of residence, the women also have the same rights as men do.

Marriage and Family Code

Marriage and Family Code comprises the following functions:

  1. continuous consolidation of the family;
  2. establishment of family relationships through marriage between a man and a woman;
  3. bringing up of children;
  4. protection of interests of mothers and children.

The equal rights between women and men, sanctioned by the constitution of the Republic of Moldova, envisage equal personal and patrimonial rights in family relationships. (Art. 3 from the Marriage and Family Code)

The marriage is registered at the state registrar's offices. It is registered not only out of the state and social interests, but also in order to protect the personal and patrimonial interests of the spouses.

Only the marriage that has been registered at the state registrar's offices, can bring about rights and obligations between the spouses. (Art. 13 from the Marriage and Family Code)

There are no regulations that anticipate limitations or interdiction, referring to the gender of the people who get married in the Marriage and Family Code. The minimal age for getting married for men is 18 years-old and for women - it is 16 years-old. But according to Article 16 from the Marriage and Family Code, the minimal age of marriage can be reduced in exceptional cases, although not more than two years.

The restrictions of marriage registration are the same both for women and for the men. (Art. 17 from the Marriage and Family Code) The women and the men are free to choose their last names, which is to be registered in the marriage certificate. Each of them can keep their last name, take the last name of the spouse or add the spouse's last name to his/her last name.

The spouses enjoy equal rights and obligations. Children's bringing-up and other matters of family life are dealt with by the spouses together.

Each of the spouses is free to choose his/her profession and residence.

The goods acquired by the spouses during the time of marriage are a common property. The spouses have equal rights of possession and usage over these goods. (Art. 21 from the Marriage and Family Code)

Thus, the issue of the women's life and activity is still in the process of work out and it presumes the elaboration of an absolutely new concept on the women's role in the society.

The creation of a new perception on the growth of women's role in the society has been expressed by the Governmental Decision No 39 of the Republic of Moldova from January 15, 1998. (Although the principle of equality between women and men is sanctioned by the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova as well as by other legislative acts, most of the times regretfully, it only bears a declarative character.)

Unfortunately, the current legislation of the Republic of Moldova does not ensure in all the cases the full protection and respecting of women's rights. That is why the integration of our Republic in the legislative framework of international organizations is extremely necessary.

In line with the above, Moldova's adherence to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women is a first step towards adjusting the national juridic framework to the international one.

Another tentative is to attract the experts of the United Nations Development Programme, who presented a detailed expertise on the respecting of the equality between women and men to the legislation of labor and criminal legislation of the Republic of Moldova.

The recommendations of the experts served as a basis for presenting proposals for modifications of the Labor Code (articles 173, 178), concerning the provision of certain facilities for mothers, in order to take care of the child, and for the fathers, if they are taking care of the child.

Currently, the international experts have been asked to analyze the Code of Marriage and Family, which contains new provisions, concerning the solving of the equality issue.

11. Women and Environment

Another important problem is the encouragement of women to participate in the fight against the deterioration of the environment and protection of the national ecosystems. Many non-governmental organizations can secure an effective and viable collaboration with the governmental structures, in order to advantageously influence the pro-democratic evolution of the society.

The evolution of the life quality, in the perspective of a sustainable human development is additionally reflected by the impact of the economic and technological development on the environment.

  1. Being aware of their considerable receptivity towards environmental issues, the role of women in the attainment of sustainable development from the perspective of environmental protection has not been stressed in the primordial Plan of Actions, although the women possess knowledge and experience in the sphere of administration and conservation of the natural resources;
  2. Today, in Moldova, the quality of the environment is affected by the negative impact of some economic activities, by the irrational exploitation of the natural resources, by the inadequacy of town planning in some country zones, by the forced urbanization and last but not least by the frontier pollution.

Although the women possess knowledge and experience in the sphere of administration and conservation of the natural resources, their role in the attainment of sustainable development continues to be limited.

Although the women have a professional training, which allows them to administer the natural resources from a decision-making position, they are still have a low representation in the official bodies. Their representation is also very low in the planning and technical conciliation positions in the environmental sphere or ecological reconstruction.

On the national plan, it is necessary to raise ecological awareness, sensitize the population in terms of environmental protection, develop consumer's awareness among women, in order to eliminate the non-viable consumption and encourage the attaining of healthy products.

In line with the above, we consider necessary to:

- implement various projects with the participation of NGOs on the topic "A healthy environment for a healthy family", with the objective of developing the economic and consumer consciousness, protecting the quality of the environment, maintaining the ecological balance and using the community and family experience in this domain.

Inasmuch as an important category of feminine population in Moldova is occupied in the rural environment and is interested both in the improvement of environmental conditions and in the fight against ecological pollution, the "Plan of Primordial Actions on the Improvement of the Situation of Women and the Growth of her Role in the Society" should have a separate place in collaborating with other non-governmental organizations within certain programs, regarding women's emancipation in rural environment, their systematic implication and participation in the community life:

  1. stimulating women's participation in the initiation, planning, execution and evaluation of the projects regarding the protection of national ecosystems and the fight against the deterioration of the environment;
  2. supporting the non-governmental organizations by involving them in the raising of public awareness and educating the population to protect the environment;
  3. initiating and supporting surveys, establishing a data base for the assessment of women's vulnerability towards the deterioration of the environment and ecological risks.


Information and Indicators for the

Assessment of the Development Programme


Population and fertility





The number of population (at the beginning of year), thousands of people, of which:




















Population growth, %




Urban population, thousands of people




Rural population, thousands of people




Total fertility rate




Fertility rate for the age of 15-19








Life duration, years




Infant mortality, %




Children's Mortality under 5 years-old, %





mortality, %





The percentage distribution of traditional and modern contraceptive methods users, according to the selected characteristics, married women or 15-44 year old women

Characteristics One method Modern method Traditional Method % using the modern method No. of cases
























Transdniester region


























Age Groups



















Education level

general incomplete

general complete

technical college






















Social-economic situation
























No. of children alive




Three or more























The percentage of deliveries assisted

by highly qualified personnel











HIV Infection (absolute figures)






HIV Infections






Out of which -women






Including pregnant women






Have given birth






Gender Equality from the

Ecological Perspective (in Education)

The composition of pupils in schools, gymnasiums and lyceums according to their age for 1997/1998 school year

Complete years at 01.01.1998 Year of Birth Girls in urban areas Boys in urban areas Girls in rural areas Boys in rural areas
5 years






6 years






7 years






8 years






9 years






10 years






11 years






12 years






13 years






14 years






15 years






16 years






17 years






18 years and over

1979 and before










Without including pupils from the schools for children with deficiencies in intellectual and physical development.

In 1997, the rate of alphabetized women at the age of 15-24 in correlation with the total number of women of the same age was 99,6%, and of the men respectively - 99,6%.

Economic Activity (in %)




1.Rate of official registered unemployment





2. Working population




3. Labor force in:














4. The rate of the waged people from the total occupied population






5. Adolescents under 18 years old



4842 people



Dynamics of the Gross Domestic Product

(without including Transdniester region)


Unit of Measure




Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

thousands lei




GDP per inhabitant







Illiteracy among adults, % 3,6 (in 1995)
Illiteracy among people aged 15-24, %

(according to the 1989 census data)

1,0 (in 1995)

Human Security and Social Justice


1995 cases

1996 cases

1997 cases

1998 cases

1999 cases

Violence against women






Cases of violence against citizens






Convicted persons for committing crimes in 1992, 1996

People, distribution by gender %


distribution by gender %






















Out of which under age









People in detention places in 1993-1997




















Income and Poverty Level

Unit of Measure


Administration income per inhabitant - available income per inhabitant




Housekeeping and Environment

Unit of measure


1. Average living area per person

square meters


2. Number of people per living area, excluding the kitchen, bathroom and toilet - average number of people per room





3. People who have access to drinking water


-tap water

-well water

-spring water







4. People who have access to electricity



5. People depending on and using traditional means of heating:

-central heating

-local heating