The impact of the transition economy on gender composition in employment in the Russian heavy industry

Bokovikova, Elena (2013) The impact of the transition economy on gender composition in employment in the Russian heavy industry. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The emergence of the Russian Federation as an independent country has resulted in vast social, political and economic change; for example, economic instability has led to the diminution of women’s labour market participation.

Through in-depth interviews with managers, employees and trade union officials of a case-study organization, `Ruscoal`, and another mining company in the region, this research examines the social and economic dimensions that impact on the gender composition of employment in the Russian coal industry. It will also explain continuity and changes in gender composition during a period of transition, which has implications for both female and male employment in the `Ruscoal' Mining Company. Through the theoretical lens of patriarchy, this research draws attention to the experiences of women and their interaction with the social and work environments; it also explores their employment and work experience subsequent to transitional restructuring in Russia.
Sixty-five per cent of work placements are legally prohibited for females under the Russian Labour legislation. Prohibited placements are classified as professions with working conditions that are harmful or dangerous for women’s reproductive health; the majority of these workplaces are in heavy industry. As a result of this protective legislation, women are often excluded from numerous skilled jobs. Moreover, women are categorized as workers who require more social benefits, and strict rules must be followed for their employment; thus, they have become a second-class group of workers.
This research shows that the pressure of the double burden of paid and unpaid work on women during transition has not only remained but also increased. Gender inequality was present in the Soviet Union, and during the transition period it has been reinforced not only by objective problems of the transitional period but also by a reassertion of the patriarchal system of Russian society. Nevertheless, this thesis emphasizes the importance of considering the role of occupational communities and how their norms and traditions also influence the behavioural norms of the local population.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2014 09:57
Last Modified: 31 Dec 2015 01:38


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