Galina Dzesiatava is a contributor to Belarus Digest on the topics of gender equality, women’s rights, migration, and travel. She holds a Master Degree from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston, USA. She currently works for a Boston-based NGO specializing in abuser education programmes, and consults for UN Agencies. Galina holds a BA degree in linguistics from Minsk State Linguistic University and is originally from both Homyel and Brest.
This year the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Belarus 30th out of 144 countries in its Global Gender Gap Index.
According to its indicators, Belarus surpassed highly developed countries such as Canada (35) and the United States (45). However, unlike other countries at the top of the list, Belarus does not have any coherent strategy to achieve gender equality.
2016 also saw a...
On 12 October 2016 Belarus announced its intention to adopt a national action plan for a green economy. This September the country also ratified the Paris Climate Change Agreement. What's more, the European Union has invested over €10m in a project aiming to fascilitate Belarus’ transition to a green economy.
What a "green economy" entails could be anything...
In the first six months of 2016, according to the Ministry of Interior 4,076 Chinese labour migrants entered Belarus. They now outnumber all other nationalities, including Ukrainians, who peaked at 3,334.
The Belarusian government maintains a firm grip on the labour market, and strictly regulates the number of work permits available to foreigners.
While Belarus attempts to re-...
The first and only Belarusian national hot line for domestic violence prevention celebrated its four-year anniversary in August, 2016. Since 2012 it has received 8,445 phone calls.
The Belarusian non-profit “Gender Perspectives” runs the hotline from Minsk. They pioneered the much-needed service, creating a point of entry for women who found themselves in dire circumstances...
On 10 July 2016 there was an incident at the construction site of the new Astraviec Nuclear Power Plant.
According to local whistle-blower Mikalai Ulasevich, a crane dropped the 330-tonne reactor from a height of 2-4 metres during a test lift. Until 26 July the officials either actively denied the incident or simply kept silent.
For Belarusians, this is painfully reminiscent of...
On 20 July 2016 at 7:45 am a bomb went off in a car in Kiev. The explosion killed Pavel Sheremet, a prominent Belarusian journalist working in Ukraine.
Pavel was 44 years old and was killed in a car of his partner Olena Prytula. Ms Prytula owns Ukrayinska Pravda, an influential online newspaper in Ukraine, one of the media outlets where Mr Sheremet worked.
In mid-June 2016 Belarus hosted a regional forum on oncology for the second time since 2004. It brought together leading regional cancer specialists from 25 countries.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 14 million people annually get diagnosed with cancer. In Belarus this number reached 50,000 new patients in 2015. Belarus has achieved considerable progress in cancer...
On 1 July 2016 a new law on alternative civilian service comes into effect in Belarus. This coming fall,10, 000 young Belarusian conscripts will start their compulsory military service. According to tut.by 20 of these would like to exercise their option for alternative civilian service.
Finally, after more than a decade of debates in parliament and discussions by various commissions,...
On 16 June the new building of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice (BCH) will open its doors in Baraulyany, just 20 minutes outside of Minsk. First of a kind in the country, it has been helping terminally ill children and their families since 1994. They actually pioneered both: hospice and palliative care.
A team of 25 health care professionals at the hospice helps children who are...
On 1 June children celebrate their day in Belarus. The first day of summer brings break from school, lots of free open-air concerts, markets, and other attractions. Currently, more than 1,7 million children live in Belarus and about 25,000 among them do so without parents.
The number of children in custody stays relatively stable at 25,000 with predictable peaks in times of crises....
The Belarusian all-star Olympic biathlete Darya Domracheva will have a baby in October. The news came in April from the future child’s father Ole Einar Bjorndalen, also known as the “King of Biathlon”, the most medalled Winter Olympic Norwegian.
Because Darya symbolises Belarusian pride and holds the title of “Belarusian Hero”, some have insisted she must...
In March 2016 the Belarusian government approved the new national programme The National Health and Demographic Security of Belarus for the upcoming period 2016-2020.
It aims "to stabilise population density and extend life expectancy". To achieve these admirable goals the government plans among other things to increase life expectancy from the current average of 73.2 years to...
- 1 of 2