International Participants' Comments on the Second EWF
The World Awaiting the Third Forum
The Second Eurasian Women’s Forum displayed common concerns and unified global agenda of 1500 women who are politicians, entrepreneurs, scientists, social activists, all coming to Russia from different continents and countries. That is, however, not enough without common necessity to indicate both already known pressure points and new threats, identify their origins, aim at solving them, discuss roadmaps to success and strive to follow them.
Success criteria are enshrined in the Outcome Resolution of the Second EWF. It is addressed to the leaders of major States and parliaments, socially oriented organisations, and women’s movements.
Resolution’s strategy is diverse. It comprises establishing gender equality, women’s legislative empowerment, supporting small businesses, individual entrepreneurship, volunteering, and NGOs alongside with developing education and healthcare and creating favourable conditions for raising vibrant and motivated youth. Women participants have seen they can unite under all political conditions to set the right goals. They are able to cooperate with men without any competition. They are ready to share their decisions and use the best practices by their like minds.
Surely, that is the main indicator of the Forum’s result. The EWF’s original task is to progressively change global society for the better. Women delegates to the Second EWF were thinking exactly about that when estimating its importance for their countries and the world in general.
Shirley Bahula-Ermias, South Africa
She said: “I think women are a powerful force that has not been used for a long time. This Forum will bring women to the forefront. In my opinion, women are able to sense and solve various problems. I come from Africa, where poverty is widespread. However, if we give women a chance, they will eradicate poverty, create jobs, because they are the ones to feel the pinch of it.I believe that women should take over the economy. We should partner for the sake of our children and the community at large, as the Forum gives us such opportunity”. Ms. Bahula-Ermias wishes all women to push forward and solve the problems they notice.
Marissa Platon Magsino, Philippines
The journalist and TV host Marissa Platon Magsino shared: “The Eurasian Women’s Forum made our voices one. Our unity is our power. United is the only way we can make our world a better place, which is the main thing. I encourage everyone to work together, as we have to give everybody a chance to make difference. We have to empower women for them to cooperate with men, not to compete with them”. She highlighted the fact that she would surely share about the Second EWF in one of her programme’s episodes. It her words, that is the very event, which contributes greatly to changing all the countries.
Santosh Kukreja, Russia
The head of Brahma Kumaris, which is a spiritual university of St. Petersburg, said: “The Forum’s main purpose is helping people socialise. I would really like to see people, who are thinking the same way as I do. It is very important for people to learn how to live in the world. It can be compared to the driving license. Let’s just say I have the money, so I want to buy a car. I need to have a driving license to do that, it is essential to learn how to drive. The same goes to our life. Mothers give us our bodies when we are born. However, we have to get the living licenses ourselves, we should understand how to live. The Forum helps us find our key values”.
Sarah Harder, the USA
Ms. Harder commented: “The First Eurasian Women’s Forum was a little more scheduled. What I loved about the Second Forum is that there is much more confidence about both the participants and the leaders. Much more was happening, which I hope would lead to more practical projects”.
Being the President of the National Peace Fund, Sarah Harder paid great attention to the action dedicated to the International Day of Peace: “I was absolutely amazed at the size of the crowd. They were not just saying something about peace, they were doing it honestly. I feel totally at home here in Russia”. Sarah Harder was inspired by her talking to Russian women. She mentioned her sincere respect to Valentina Matvienko, as she is a role model for many women in the world.
Barbara Dietrich, Belgium
“I am very glad that I took part in the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum! Women’s forum is a good opportunity to fill yourself up with bright expectations and hope for a better.For me it has become worldwide. Thank you very much for opportunity to participate in it!”, shared CEO of Diplomatic World magazine.
Helen Walbey, Wales
“It is a great honour for me to be a part of the EWF. Our policy activity is very important as we are making significant decisions and having interesting conversations but also making important international contacts. It proves that women from different countries can communicate and cooperate in any political situation. I think this is a really significant given that the challenges the world faces. I am all for cooperation, friendship and prosperity for our world”, mentioned the Home Affairs Chairperson, for the United Kingdom Federation of Small Businesses and Chair of the Women's Enterprise Framework Panel for Welsh Government.
Vanda Gagiano, RSA
“It was an honour for me to participate in the Second EWF. It was an amazing experience and I would like to sincerely thank every person who helped organise this event. The Forum has brought together women from all over the world. This platform allowed us to speak and be heard. When women unite, they really can change something in this world.We need to unite and the world needs to notice us”, said Honourary President of Free State Women’s Agricultural Union.
Purnima Anand, President of the BRICS International Forum
Purnima Anand said many warm words about the forum. She was especially inspired by Russian women. “Russian women are great. During World War II, they showed how strong they were. They led the Soviet Union to glory. Nowadays Russian women are well empowered too. Russian Women proved they could work under any conditions. They are very emotional and love peace and their families. We are glad to work with them and solve problems on international level.”
Agum Rin Mabeny Adut, South Sudan
“South Sudan is a young country. That is why we are here to look and learn how women realise their potentialby taking leading positions in all spheres of life. I think women from different countries have common issues and topics to discuss. For example, we all think how to be up-to-date. I am glad that women exchange experience at that forum. It will be useful for us. I hope someday my country would hold such events”, said Undersecretary of the Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Sports of South Sudan.
Patricia Collins, CEO and Operations Manager of Associated Country Women of the World
“I came to a wonderful St. Petersburg to meet women from all over the world, understand them, exchange experience, and work together for our brighter future. I think if we learn and work together that will be the most effective way to promote our activity. By educating women, we educate the society and the whole world.That is a core message of our organisation”, shared Patricia.
Myonghee Kim, South Korea
“Russia has made a great job by organising this very important event. Women of the world will be empowered thanks to this forum.The event makes them fully realise their potential and live happily. Thank you very much”, said professor of Sookmyung Women's University, Advisor in the Asia Pacific Women's Information Network Center (APWINC).
Patrice Braun, Netherlands
“The forum gave us an opportunity to learn about problems that trouble women from different countries. I wish we could solve those problems so we need programmes adapted to meet the needs of women”, thinks professor of women’s entrepreneurship and regional development. Patrice Braun is sure that such events as Second EWF contribute to uniting women on the road to solving global problems.
Lucia Lee, South Korea
Lucia Lee has been a judge on APEC Best Award for 3 years already. This award was first organised in Russia. That is why Ms. Lee was truly glad to receive an invitation to St. Petersburg. “We discussed problems of women from different countries and exchanged experience. I think such cultural and professional exchange contributes to a better future for all of us. Hope to see everybody on the next forum”, concluded Lucia Lee.
Translated by Nikolay Boykov and Yan Zarubin