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Constitutional Court to consider list of professions prohibited for women

The Constitutional Court of Kyrgyzstan accepted for consideration the petition of a citizen Kanykei Tusucheva to check the constitutionality of articles 218 and 303 of the Labor Code and the government decree of March 24, 2000 on the list of industries, jobs, professions and positions with harmful or dangerous working conditions prohibited for women.

The author of the appeal notes that the Constitution guarantees equal rights and freedoms for men and women, including freedom of labor, choice of profession, protection and working conditions, and also prohibits discrimination on various grounds, including gender.

The applicant points to the constitutional guarantee of the prohibition of discrimination, enshrined in both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the CIS Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which are part of the legislation of Kyrgyzstan.

Kanykei Tusucheva stresses that the list of professions prohibited for women is a relic of the Soviet era and open discrimination in the world of work, which is explained by the state’s concern for «reproductive health.»

She reminded that women should have the right to choose independently between motherhood and career, and the risks associated with reproductive health should be prevented, but not lead to general prohibitions. Such an unfair distinction between the sexes is a direct form of discrimination and requires that the challenged norms be recognized as contrary to the Constitution.

Earlier, the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Migration came out with the initiative to cancel the list of jobs where the use of female labor is prohibited. The draft was submitted for public discussion in early January. But it was not handed over to the Cabinet of Ministers and the Parliament for consideration.