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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.   

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Federica Mogherini: We will keep a close eye on the formation of the Moldovan government and its future programme.

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One of the topics discussed at the Meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council held on March 18th, 2019, was the current political situation in the Republic of Moldova following the parliamentary elections of February 24th.

Foreign ministers highlighted the importance of a transparent and credible government formation process that should reflect a genuine parliamentary majority that respects the outcome of the elections, as it is mentioned in the outcome document of the council meeting. They stressed the importance of non-interference in the formation process and the fact that the EU does not support individual parties and specific political actors, but values and principles.

At the same time, the Council reiterated that the basis for EU cooperation with Moldova is the implementation of the Association Agreement and confirmed the importance of the principle of conditionality in delivering macro-financial assistance to Moldova, which had to be withheld following serious deterioration in the areas of rule of law and the upholding of democratic principles. On the other hand, foreign ministers highlighted the critical importance of offering support to Moldovan citizens and to civil society.

At the press conference following the Foreign Affairs Council meeting, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, presented the remarks regarding the previously discussed topics.

“We assessed with the Foreign Ministers the state of play, with full respect of the politics of the country and still with the willingness to support the reform agenda in the country and the rule of law and the democratic perspectives there. We have expressed some concerns and, obviously, agreed that we will keep a close eye on the formation of the government and the programme that the government will put in place,” claimed Mogherini.

Additionally, the High Representative declared that the Council won’t enter into the discussions about coalitions and formation of the government. However, it is crucial “to stay vigilant on the rule of law situation and most of all the implementation of the [EU-Moldova] Association Agreement agenda with Moldova that is a key partner in the Eastern Partnership.”

According to the preliminary conclusions of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission stated in the Background Brief document of Foreign Affairs Council, the elections were “competitive and fundamental rights were generally respected.” However, shortcomings were noted throughout the campaign and on the election day, including “allegations of pressure on public employees, strong indications of vote buying and the misuse of state resources.” The Mission also noted that “control and ownership of the media by political actors limited the range of viewpoints presented to voters.”

Photo: eeas.europa.eu

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The CEC confirmed the results of the parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova

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The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) summarized the results of the parliamentary elections held on February 24th, 2019 in the national constituency and in the single-seat constituencies. The results were announced during a press conference on March 3rd.

According to the CEC data, the parliamentary mandates are distributed as following:

  • the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova – 35 mandates;
  • the Democratic Party of Moldova  – 30 mandates;
  • the electoral bloc ACUM formed of the Party of Action and Solidarity and the Dignity and Truth Platform Party – 26 mandates;
  • the “Șor” Party – 7 mandates;
  • independent candidates – 3 mandates.

According to the Electoral Code, a report of the summarized results, announced during the CEC meeting, must be submitted to the Constitutional Court for the validation of the poll within 24 hours.

Within five days after receiving the CEC documents, the magistrates of the Constitutional Court must confirm or deny the legality of the elections and validate the mandates of the new members of the Parliament.

The CEC specified that a total of 1 457 220 voters participated in the national constituency elections, out of which 76 583 persons voted in the polling stations opened abroad, and 37 257 persons – in the polling stations from Transnistria.

In the single-seat constituencies, 1 441 326 voters participated in the parliamentary elections, out of which 76 642 persons exercised their right to vote in the polling stations opened abroad and 36 696 persons – in the polling stations from Transnistria.

Photo: cec.md

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Tiraspol’s separatist leader, Krasnoselski, commemorates 27 years since “Moldova’s aggression against Transnistria”

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Today, Tiraspol’s separatist leader, Vadim Krasnoselski, commemorates “27 years since the beginning of Moldova’s massive aggression on Transnistria,” the NovostiPMR agency communicates.

“Moldovan combatants intended to eliminate Transnistrian statehood with tanks and planes, operating terrorist groups,” according to Krasnoselski.

Really? Let’s see what the other side has to say.

“11% of the territory of the Republic of Moldova is under the occupation of the Russian Federation”

Security expert Rosian Vasiloi notes that the place of Krasnoselskii, Smirnov, Ignatiev, and other leading people is in jail for the crimes committed during these 28 years of independence. According to the expert, these are the fruits of political need promoted to all governments.

“So Krasnoselski running freely on the right bank of Nistru and using the Chisinau airport to fly to his masters in Moscow, isn’t counted as “massive aggression of Moldova against Transnistria”?

When receiving money from the Moldovan Government for electricity so that the people of Transnistria survive, while part of this money is being stolen and shifting to obscure circles in Chisinau, isn’t “massive aggression of Moldova against Transnistria”?

Today I saw state dignitaries, ministers, officials, smiling with flowers in hand to monuments. It seems that ruling a country feels like playing. For me, the war is not over yet. It will end when the left bank of the Nistru will be fully integrated with the right bank. This is possible, but not with those who go on monuments on March 2, smiling.”

One of the most complicated conflicts in the post-soviet space

In a comment made in 2017 by the Doctor of History, Institute of History of the ASM, Octavian Ticu, it is mentioned that the Transnistrian crisis was artificially created by Moscow at the beginning of 1990 against the backdrop of the systemic crisis in the USSR and the intensification of the national movements in the Soviet republics. Faced with the likelihood of the Soviet Union leaving the USSR, Anatoly Lukianov, president of the USSR Supreme Soviet, with Dmitry Iazov’s involvement, and Boris Pugo, Minister of Defense and Interior Affairs, decided to create two states on the territory of Moldova: the left bank and another in Gagauzia. At the same time, the Soviet official has created a link between the issue of local separatism in Moldova and the commitment of MSSR to sign the new Soviet treaty initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev in hopes of saving the Soviet Union.

The first effective support from Moscow for the Transnistrians came in September 1990 when troops of the Soviet Interior Ministry were detached to defend the “Congress” of the Russian-speaking elites who had declared the independence of the “Transnistrian Republic” to Moldova within the Soviet Union. The intervention of the troops had the general role of conflict management – in this case, to discourage a possible attempt by Chisinau to forcefully force the force, as it threatened. But there was also a second goal: to exert pressure on Moldova to either abandon the aspirations of independence or to be dismembered.

The 14th Army troops, comprising many people born in the Transnistrian region, have also been encouraged by the openness to Tiraspol by the Ministry of Defense. Thus, when in November 1990, not far from Dubasari, the first Moldovan-Transnistrian army confrontation erupted, the Transnistrian Russian language speakers had on their side not only armed volunteer formations but also the expectation of supporting the Soviet troops.

The conflict between the new authorities in Chisinau and the “MRI” erupted at the end of the spring-summer of 1992, leading to the loss of several hundred lives. The conflict would soon be eclipsed by other events in the world, disappearing from headlines. It still remains one of the most complicated conflicts in post-Soviet space, both in terms of its prehistory and in terms of its political implications and possible developments. Although the July 7, 1992, was concluded a ceasefire, a solution to the disputes underlying the conflict was not yet found – legal and territorial status of the left bank of the Moldovan state.

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