Promotion of the principle of equality between women and men in the Republic of Moldova is at the stage of legislation harmonisation with international and European standards and at the stage of implementation of Community provisions on equal opportunities and equal treatment for men and women. Although there are indexes of improvement in the legal status of women, they still fail to fully exercise their rights. The most problematic areas are: empowering women on the political, economic and social arenas, as well as violence against women. Women in the Republic of Moldova are weakly represented in politics, and in management positions in both Central and Local Public Administration.
The Moldovan Forum of Women’s Organisations includes over 220 organisations aiming at the improvement of women’s social status. 18 out of these represent women of various ethnic groups. The National Women’s Council and the National Women’s Studies and Information Centre help women to adapt to the conditions of a free market economy, they support women to achieve decision-making positions and generally promote feminine values. The Soros Foundation, in co-operation with 18 other NGOs, carries out a programme on gender equality which includes a multitude of activities to address women’s specific problems. Organisations like the Women Journalists’ Club “Ten Plus”, the Association of Aestheticians, the Association of Virtuous Women, the Women’s Politics Club 50/50, or the National Association of Women Inventors strive to support women’s professional activities in arts, science and technology. They also organise different cultural activities and encourage women to participate in the cultural, social and political life of the country.
While women traditionally hold the majority of memberships in cultural organisations, they occupy only about 5% of all key positions. In the Ministry of Culture, the share of women in decision-making positions amounts to 10%.
In the period 2010-2014, the level of women’s representation in the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova constituted 19 seats out of 101, which is only 18.8%.