Women in Russia do not have a strong enough say, which adversely affects politics, business and public life. Ex-president of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev voiced this view speaking in Moscow on Friday at the conference Women and Elections timed to the 70th anniversary of Raisa Gorbacheva's birthday. Gorbachev came out for introducing quotas for women - from 30 to 50 per cent - in the representative bodies of power. According to him, this measure which will help overcome the "Domostroi principles" is not "humiliation of women but is a real chance for them". The ex-president of the USSR also stressed that "a cardinal turn must occur also in the consciousness of women themselves". The address of the participants in the conference to the president of Russia, to parliament and to public organisations contains a call for taking a decision on introduction of such quotas in the legislation on elections. The participants in the conference address parties and movements with a demand to include at least 30 per cent of women candidates into the election rolls at the forthcoming elections. About 150 women representing political and public organisations, scientists and business-ladies from fifteen regions of the country are participating in the work of the conference.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated