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What is it like to be a business woman in the Republic of Moldova?

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It is widely recognised that the women involved in business are not considered equal to men. Overall, they can be discriminated when applying for a job or when it comes to the wage payment, men being preferred for top management positions.

In the Republic of Moldova, a traditionalist country with values deeply rooted in the old socialist system, the situation is not better. According to a report issued in 2016 by the National Statistical Bureau (NBS), UNDP and UN Women, the number of females in Moldova that head a company, or an organisation is three times smaller than the number of men.

We gathered over time a multitude of interviews and reportages about the life and activity of Moldovan business women. All these women have told us about both good and bad things: about the sacrifices, challenges, benefits and advantages of being a female entrepreneur in Moldova. Here are the highlights of some of their stories:

Adriana Buciușcanu is the part-time manager and the owner of an educational centre in Orhei.

She started her own business during her maternal leave. This activity is taking a lot of her time and efforts, but Adriana never gives up as she is very passionate about what she does. Her business operates in an environment where the investment in education is not a priority. “People prefer clothes, food and other basic needs, rather than training or professional growth,” she said in an interview offered for Moldova.org.

The educational centre she administers organizes parenting informational sessions on how to build trust and an effective parent-child dialogue. Also, it offers English lessons for children, a kindergarten program, as well as after-school and weekend activities for pupils. At the moment, all sessions are for free, but the business wouldn’t last long like that. “We are not in that system, where the free of charge services could be offered. The only free cheese is in the mouse trap, ” explained the business woman, criticizing the strategy of the Orhei’s mayor – Ilan Shor of offering all public services for free.

The “Cheița fermecată” Centre coordinated by Adriana

Adriana Buciuşcanu was born in Orhei. She did her bachelor and graduate studies in Romania. For opening the educational centre, she applied for a financial aid to the United Nations Development Program. In the future, Adriana is going to apply for more grants in order to develop the centre’s infrastructure. Beside the managerial activity, Adriana is also working at the Orhei District Council, even though she is still in the maternal leave with her third child.

“It is quite difficult to get back to work after three years of staying at home and taking care of a child. But the quicker is the return to an active life, the greater the courage and enthusiasm of women becomes.”

Adriana encourages the gender equality: “If a man can manage a business very well, why a woman couldn’t do it? The society would have a lot of benefits from the equal involvement of women and men,” concludes Adriana.

Cristina Frolov is an entrepreneur and the managing director of the Mimi Castle, a wine producing company and a popular touristic attraction in Moldova.

Photo source: avantaje.ro

Cristina believes that a good manager is the one that can provide high quality services. “I like to organise events together with my team, to elaborate new concepts and projects that emphasise and communicate our values as a family, nation and a country,” said Cristina.

She works in a very competitive industry for the Republic of Moldova. “It’s hard to convince someone to buy your product when there are another 60 producers who do their job just as well,” claims Cristina. She has almost 200 subordinates, most of them being from the villages in the vicinity. “The winery produces up to 1 million bottles, 90% of which are exported to China and Germany,” she adds, while demonstrating her favourite kind of wine ‘Red de Bulboaca’.

When asked about the gender differences in business, she mentions the women’s ability to learn faster from others.

“Women need to be encouraged more. The moment society will understand that there is no difference between a woman and a man in doing a job, things will change.”

Nonna Mihălcean – psychologist, the coordinator of the Resource Centre for Teenagers and Youth “Anticafeneaua Bălți” and a very good leader, has a lot to say about how it is to be a woman involved in a lot of activities.

In one year, she managed to bring the centre of non-formal education to a new level. Today, the centre is visited by more than 2000 teenagers from Bălți. There are organised informative sessions, creative workshops, trainings, meetings with experts, film evenings, oratorical clubs, social theatre, presentations, sport clubs, social games, and other activities.

Nonna enjoys a lot to work with people, especially with teenagers. “I understood that there is an important category of people with a great potential. Young people can bring the change and we need to invest in them,” mentions Nonna. She has a psychologist office that is a part of her daily activity as well. According to the Nonna’s opinion, the women involved in a lot of activities carry a series of internal and external battles.

“Because they can’t leave the family behind, the active women tend to be present 24/7. They have to fight several battles.”

Victoria Dunford is an emigrant nurse that moved to Great Britain and chose to come back to Moldova afterwards to contribute to the improvement of the Moldovans’ life quality.

Photo source: osearaperfecta.md

She intended to stay in Great Britain only for two years, but then got married to a British citizen and settled in the country permanently. Her story begins with a dream she had: to transfer a part of the recycled medical equipment (that is still in a very good condition) from British hospitals to the Moldovan ones, where a penury of such equipment is registered.

At the beginning, it wasn’t easy at all to deliver a truck full of medical equipment to Moldova. “It is not like sending a parcel to your parents’ home. It needs a lot of paperwork, effort and stress,” said Victoria. This is why she decided to establish an organisation called MAD-Aid that means both “Make a difference” and “Medical Aid Deliver”. Every day, she fights for providing Moldovan hospitals that “have been left in the past for more than 50 years,” as Victoria’s husband told her once, with the necessary apparatus and furniture.

The Phoenix Centre coordinated by Victoria

After organising a donation event for the children who need wheelchairs and observing how big the potential of these isolated children is, Victoria decided to initiate a new project – a new medical centre for children with mobility deficiencies. Here, new challenges were waiting for her, as nobody took her seriously. She recalls that she cried after a meeting with the representatives of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection. “They asked me: why do you put the money in these children, who, anyway, do not have a future? Although I am strong, I began to cry. If you talk like this to a person who has come to invest, how do you talk to those who come to ask for help?” confessed Victoria.

“The last six weeks before the opening of the centre were critical and complicated. I was tired, but I knew for sure that if I died on September 20th, there was something left behind.”

After long years of hard work, her efforts were remunerated. She received in 2017 the British Empire Medal, an order offered by the Queen of Great Britain for the help she offered to children with special needs. “It is a shame that many have been more open to collaborate only after I received the medal from the Queen of Great Britain,” she declared with disappointment.

In the same year, she began to write a book entitled “Get Mad”, the main idea of which was to transmit to the Moldovan children the message that she was like them once, and she was just a simple girl that walked on the muddy roads of Mihăileni, her native village. “Anyone who has enough determination and puts enough work can go from rags to riches,” closed out Victoria.

Nowadays, there are 588.3 thousand women employed in the labour market in the Republic of Moldova, according to an NBS report in 2016. What’s interesting, is that 67% of these women were employed in a company, 26% were self-employed, 7% of the women in question were housewives and only 0.5% of women were registered as being entrepreneurs, as an infographic made by Moldova.org based in NBS data presents. On the other hand, the average female entrepreneurship rate in the European Union in 2014 was 10% of the total female active labour force.   

Important

Democrats leave government to the new coalition

The decision was taken after today’s National Political Council of the Plahotniuc’s party, announced Vladimir Cebortari, vice-president of the DPM.

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According to Cebotari, DPM’s decision is a clear signal that the Democratic Party no longer holds power in the country.

“However, our decision will not solve the constitutional blockade,” Cebotari said.

“Regardless of what solutions will be found, as long as we have the decisions of the CC in place, the Government that will be installed will operate illegally, and the officials of the institutions will not be legally able to execute the decisions of such a Government and will be in a situation of legal risk. That is why final elections will be reached, as it’s the only way to solve the crisis created by the binomial Socialist Party–’ACUM’ bloc legally and completely,” finalized the DPM vice-president.

Vladimir Cebotari said that the next move on behalf of the DPM should be expected. However, it might be way too early to call it good news just yet.

Two days ago, the leaders of the bloc ‘ACUM’ Maia Sandu and Andrei Nastase asked the Moldovan citizens to come to Parliament for the  “march of the people” on Sunday, June 16th. President Igor Dodon, too, called on the country’s citizens and his supporters to participate in the march, in support of the new government.

Maia Sandu warned that “the Plahotniuc regime will do everything in its power to prevent citizens from coming to the march of the people. They will try to stop public transport, threaten drivers, block the streets.”

“Prepare yourself! Come early, come to your relatives’s place and stay overnight in town. Offer car seats to those who wish, but don’t have the possibility to join. They stop the cars? We walk! They will hear our every step and see that Moldova doesn’t belong to them, but to the people and children of Moldova,” said Maia Sandu at the press conference.

She addressed all police officers who refuse to obey to Plahotniuc’s orders as well as those responsible for national security and citizens to maintain public order and ensure that no citizen of this country would suffer.

Will Plahotniuc’s remaining army find ways to prevent the event from happening? How many of Moldova’s remaining people will attend the rally? That’s for us to find out on the coming Sunday.

Rebranding of DPM’s logo: Constantin Șarcov

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Cristina Balan, the Moldovan ambassador to the US and former DPM vice-president, is ignoring new MFA’s recall for consultations in Chisinau

Moldovan Ambassador to the US Cristina Balan ignored the order of the new Moldovan Foreign Minister in the Government of Maia Sandu, Nicu Popescu, in which she was asked to present herself no later than today, June 14, 2019, at 3 pm, for consultations in Chisinau.

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According to Nicu Popescu, this confirmed that Cristina Balan chose to execute the diplomacy of Plahotniuc’s Democratic Party, instead of the state’s diplomacy.

“I reiterated to the US authorities that from now on, all the steps taken by Balan are made on her own account, and do not reflect in any way the position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova”, claims Nicu Popescu.

He mentioned that he has decided to submit to the Government of the Republic of Moldova the proposal to dismiss Mrs. Cristina Balan from the position of ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to the United States of America.

Cristina Balan is the former vice-president of PDM, where she was responsible for the DPM’s foreign affairs management. Oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc was elected to this position on May 8, 2018.

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What we need to know about the recent ECHR decision on behalf of Turkish teachers’ expulsion

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Not many might remember, but quite a while ago, on the morning of September 6, 2018, seven Turkish citizens were expelled from Moldova. SIS previously stated that the seven Turkish citizens might have had links to an Islamist group, a group about which there are indications that they are carrying out illegal actions in several countries.

However, this doesn’t only concern President Dodon, who – although not capable of suitably commenting on the outrageous events – seemed to have had very close ties with the Turkish President. Additionally, in September, the ECHR was notified in connection with the expulsion of the seven Turkish citizens from Moldova by Vitalie Nagacevschi, the president of the “Lawyers for Human Rights” Association. Shortly after the application was filed, the ECHR told that it had notified the case and asked the Moldovan Government (then led by Pavel Filip) for explanations regarding the expulsion of Turkish teachers. Back when the Plahotniuc–Dodon (DPM-SPM) cooperation was still running, a reasonable explanation on behalf of a Democratic Party member like PM Filip would have been impossible.

In the explanations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the case of Turkish citizens, the Moldovan Government stated that it did not violate the procedure for declaring them undesirable and escorting from the country.

*

Yesterday, ECHR issued a decision communicating that Moldova violated the rights of foreign nationals expelled from the territory of the Republic of Moldova in September 2018. The ECHR detected a violation of Articles 5.1 and 8 of the Convention on Human Rights, and this is what it has decided:

The Moldovan Government will have to pay € 25,000 for five of the seven Turkish citizens whose rights have been violated and who filed complaints before the Court.

In front of the Court, the applicants said they were illegally detained on the morning of September 6 and that they were being illegally handed over to the Turkish authorities. The Moldovan Government has admitted that Turkish citizens have been detained but has told the Court that this was justified and the plaintiffs did not oppose the expulsion to their country of origin.

Although the Government of Chisinau insists on not being aware of the applicants’ fears of being expelled to Turkey, the Court notes that in the asylum applications the plaintiffs clearly expressed their fear of being persecuted. At the same time, in its decision of 4 September 2018, the Bureau of Migration and Asylum considered that the applicants’ fear of being politically persecuted in Turkey was well founded in connection with these asylum applications.

More so, since the applicants have integrated into the Moldovan society and have genuine family relationships, the Court considered that their expulsion from Moldova radically disturbed their private and family relationships. Therefore, Lawyers for Human Rights noted that there has been an interference with their rights in this respect.

Today however, Nicolae Frumosu – the lawyer of the Turkish citizens, declared undesirable and remote from the territory of the Republic of Moldova, claims that the government agent did not submit any evidence that teachers constituted or constituted a danger to security and the order of the Republic of Moldova to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Image result for nicolae frumosu

“The ‘Orizont’ Moldovan-Turkish Lyceum file is not yet complete,” said Frumosu.

According to him, the most important aspect is that “neither before has the European Court of Human Rights, the government official, the Moldovan state submitted any evidence that the applicants constituted or constituted a danger to the security and public order of R Moldova”. The lawyer says he does not have any current information about the status and situation of Turkish teachers.

What’s next?

“There are national disputes regarding Turkish citizens. Here I am referring to challenging decisions on refusal to grant refugee status as well as challenging the decisions of the Migration and Asylum Bureau regarding the declaration as an undesirable person of those persons with their removal under escort. Many of these cases were discontinued on the part of the proceedings because of the lack of empowerment, whether they were taken out of service, or that they had been surrendered or refused to be received. But there are a few files still pending at national courts,” concluded the lawyer.

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