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Russia – Submission to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 81st Session 2021

The legal provisions and practices detailed in our report highlight the failure of the State to comply with its duty to provide equal protection under the law to survivors of sexual violence (Article 2(c) of CEDAW); failure of law enforcement to protect women from sexual violence (Article 2(c) and (e)); and that the decisions and failings of the authorities and their agents constitute demonstrable direct and indirect discrimination against women (Article 2(d)); as well as failing to recognize and identify the gender dimension of sexual violence during the prosecution of the accused and in the punishment of this crime (Article 2(e)).

In violation of the Convention, the Russian Federation has also failed to enact criminal law provisions to effectively prosecute sexual violence and gross manifestations of violence against women (Article 2(b)).

We submit that the root causes of the failures of the State are its non-compliance with the obligation to transform gender hierarchies and stereotypical attitudes towards women, contrary to Articles 2(f) and 5(a) of the Convention and the obligation to combat violence against women and provide access to justice to survivors, as described in General Recommendations 19, 33 and 35 of the CEDAW Committee.

Submitted by Equality Now and “Sisters” Center.