Russian officials are proposing a shorter work week for women so they can better look after their families, local media reported Tuesday.
"Today women — especially those with large families — need more time to provide a proper education and to address their domestic issues. All the more in times of crisis, with rising food prices, etc.," said Vladimir Slepak, head of Russia’s advisory Committee on Social Policy, Labor Relations and Life Quality of Citizens of the Public Chamber, the Moscow Times reported. Slepak's views were echoed by the chief of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy. "It goes without saying that for women, a tough working schedule is difficult. A flexible schedule would therefore be absolutely appropriate," said Vladimir Ryazansky.
This isn’t the first time Russian politicians have been accused of proposing sexist legislation. Two years ago, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party offered a bill that would let women to take two days of paid leave from work to accommodate their menstrual cycles. Mikhail Degtyaryov wrote at the time, “The pain for the fair sex is often so intense that it is necessary to call an ambulance,” the Daily Mail reported. “'This argument is obviously improper, unreasonable and nothing close to being serious," responded Anna Sobko, of Memorial, the oldest human rights group in Russia.
In 2014, Russian legislators proposed instituting a four-day work week, without a pay cut, for all employees, according to RT. MP Andrey Isayev said the plan would simultaneously improve workplace morale and stimulate productivity. Deputy Premier Olga Golodets disagreed. “At present time we cannot afford this. A four-day work week is still a dream for us,” she said.