‘LEGALLY MOM’ PROJECT: LEGAL AND MORAL SUPPORT
Today social networks give any wishing person the opportunity to create and develop internet projects in in many different fields. Not special computer skills and knowledge, but sincere interest to the topic and enthusiasm are what is actually needed here. Elena Grin is a Candidate of Juridical Sciences, Associate Professor, Deputy Head of Intellectual Rights at the Moscow State Law University, and member of the scientific advisory board at the Intellectual Property Rights Court. Together with her colleagues, she founded an Instagram project called ‘Legally Mom’ (https://www.instagram.com/mama_v_prave). Its goal is legal enlightenment of women, particularly young mothers and girls. The project has been operating over half a year. It has collected 30 thousand followers over this time.
The idea of the project came from women working as university teachers. After becoming mothers, they understood that women often faced situations when they need legal help and advice. Internet is full of information, which is not always reliable, relevant, and understandable. Ms. Grin together with her colleagues decided to create a project not only to inform women about their rights and opportunities and provide them with legal support but also to create a community with friendly atmosphere.
Within this project, qualified specialists daily share about the existing measures of social support for pregnant women, young families, and mothers, help to resolve situations requiring legal intervention, and answer questions of followers. They pay much attention to such issues as rights of mother and children, education, kindergartens, leaving work, and taking maternity leave. According to Elena Grin, the project provides expert advice only. Experts not only answer questions but also help solve problems in practice. For example, if necessary they refer to the public authorities and help with executing documents.
One of the project’s experts is a travel blogger. She writes about the rights and opportunities women have in other countries when traveling and moving there permanently. For example, many of the project’s followers who left Russia found out many useful facts. For instance, if both mother and child have citizenship of the Russian Federation, they can receive maternal capital no matter what country they are in now. According to Elena Grin, several women who found that out thanks to the project consulted to the Pension Fund and got approvals to receiving benefits.
It is important that authors of publications in social networks and project’s experts are not only lawyers but also teachers of one of the leading law universities of Moscow. They provide good quality information, which is relevant and reliable. The main thing is that they do that in simple language.
“If our followers have complicated issues which sometimes concern assistance in legal cases, we apply our university’s resources. We have many lawyers ready to offer their help on favourable terms”, says Elena Grin. A considerable number of the project’s partners appeared over the period of its operation.
‘Legally Mom’ is not limited to internet. The project regularly holds workshops, informal meetings, and roundtables for its followers within different forums. It provides live broadcast of such events on Instagram in order more women could know about them. The followers can watch it and communicate with experts online.
According to Ms. Grin, questions of the project’s participants often concern not only law-related issues. Women from all Russian regions discuss such topics as health, career growth, children upbringing, etc. They exchange opinions, share advice, and support one another. According to Ms. Grin, not only legal enlightenment but also moral support and showing that they are not alone are the project’s goals.
“We want our followers to feel confident about their future, their rights and those of their children. It is extremely important. When a person is well aware of his or her opportunities and ways to address problems and knows that people around can help, he or she feels more secure. Thus, the person’s quality of life changes for the better”, said Elena Grin.
Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov