Valentina Matvienko, Chairperson of the Federation Council, proposed that 2019 be designated the Year of Rural Areas in Russia. Nadezhda Boltenko, Chairperson of Women’s Union of the Novosibirsk Region, supported her initiative. 

Russia starts paying more attention to the development of rural areas. A number of programs are being implemented today so as to attract labour force in rural areas, improve social and cultural fields, education, and healthcare there. Despite active measures in this direction, rural areas still have a number of problems requiring integrated approach to addressing them. Valentina Matvienko believes that the Year of Rural Areas in Russia will give an impetus to serious progress in a number of spheres. 

One of the activities by Women’s Union of the Novosibirsk Region is aimed at the development of rural areas, support of rural population, and strengthening communities from different districts of the region. 


“We understand that many problems can’t be properly understood and solved from the centre. It is sometimes necessary to observe the issue from the inside, listen to people, and together with them find the solution. Thus, in 2017, we continued visiting districts of the region in order to communicate with their residents and unite our efforts for realization of new projects”, said Nadezhda Boltenko. 

For example, Kupinsky district hosted the Festival of Friendship in conjunction with International Day of Friendship. The motto of the event was 'Comradery is Better than Luxury'. Families from different regions of the district belonging to different nationalities became the event’s participants. By their own example, they demonstrated the continuity of generations and presented their traditions and customs. 


Iskitim, a town in the Novosibirsk region of Russia, hosted a festival of socially active women called Contemporary 2017. The event was organised in cooperation with Women’s Union of the Novosibirsk Region with the strong support of regional government. Representatives of over 40 largest industrial enterprises of the region tool part in the festival. 

World Rural Women's Day in Novosibirsk is remembered for its festival Countrywoman 2017. About 400 people joined it. 

“We need this holiday to pay tribute to rural women who have always been the backbone of Russian rural areas and keep on performing this role”, said the senator. 

Another event called Russia’s Heart of Gold: Women Patriots of the Novosibirsk Region took place in the city of Ob. The event attracted women mothers, women workers, women public figures, and active participants of Women’s Union of the Novosibirsk Region. 


According to Nadezhda Boltenko, one of the most important projects was Health as Creation. The event started in the Suzunsky district and included 15 platforms with different actions in the fields of healthcare, culture, leisure, education, and sport. All the participants could take part in the meeting with specialists in health or in education, social figures, lawyers, artists, etc. The platforms also included concerts and sport competitions. As stated by Nadeshda Boltenko, the Health as Creation project includes many actions and events to be implemented in different districts of the region. 

“I believe such projects will keep on uniting our region, contributing not only to education, but also to strengthening communities for active work for the benefit of the Novosibirsk region”, she said. 

It is important to mention that such district-oriented projects contribute to the quality of life of rural people. In addition, it helps unite residents of cities and villages and teach them to cooperate so as to achieve their common goals. Declaring 2019 the Year of Rural Areas in Russia will give an impetus to development and implementation of more such projects. 

Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov