Idea of female president supported by one-third of Russians – poll

Idea of female president supported by one-third of Russians – poll
About 33 percent of Russians support having a female president, but the percentage of opponents of this idea has increased over the past year, independent polling center Levada reports.

The poll, conducted in mid-February this year, also showed that the share of Russians who dislike the general idea of women being actively engaged in politics grew from 20 percent a year ago to 30 percent. The share of Russians who said that women should not assume senior state positions grew from 28 to 38 percent, and the share of those who preferred equal representation of the sexes dropped from 64 to 56 percent.

Among the respondents, 54 percent said that they would not like to see a female president running Russia in the next 10 to 15 years, while 33 percent said that the idea of having a female president appealed to them, and 13 percent could not give a simple, direct answer to this question.

The share of Russians who said that women should not assume senior state positions grew from 28 to 38 percent, and the share of those who preferred equal representation of the sexes in official state positions dropped from 64 to 56 percent.

When asked about their views on the current situation with gender equality in the Russia, 41 percent said that women and men have more or less equal chances for promotion in Russia. Forty-eight percent said that men have an advantage in building their careers, and seven percent said that the advantage belongs to women.

In mid-2006, one of Russia’s top politicians, Upper House chair Valentina Matviyenko, told reporters that in her opinion, Russian citizens were “mentally ready” for a woman to be president, because in recent times, professionalism has become the main requirement for senior politicians.

Over the past few years we have seen a lot of vivid and interesting female personalities in business, in banks, as leaders of public opinion, politicians and lawmakers. In modern Russia women are treated without regard to their sex, but depending on their professionalism, cleverness and effectiveness potential,” the top Russian senator added.

In 2002, the legislature of Rostov Region drafted a bill proposing a 70-percent quota for candidates of one sex for any political party running for the federal parliament, but the bill was scrapped on its first reading.