A Territory of Trust

A Territory of Trust

Galina Karelova on the Eurasian Women’s Forum

“This September in St Petersburg, the Eurasian Women’s Forum will be held for the second time. The first forum transformed how we discuss the female agenda. The second promises to be just as exciting and important, especially when it comes to consolidating the efforts and developments in international relations and solving humanity’s most pressing problems. This Forum will be more representative and will have twice as many participants and one-and-a-half as many countries,” says Galina Karelova.

Galina Karelova is Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council, and head of the working group of the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum.

The topics we will be discussing are not just relevant to women: world peace, a clean planet, combating and mitigating climate change, and a more efficient use of energy sources. We will talk about the health of children and adults, social progress, social security, and the economy. We will share ideas on how to help each other be competitive in the age of technology, and many other topics. 

Each of these topics has a female dimension. Climate change, for instance, is threatening global food security and the eradication of poverty, creating new risks for future generations. But its main victims are women, who account for 80% of people displaced due to climate change. 

The issue of unemployment is more acute for women than men. In 104­ – more than half – of the world’s countries, women are limited in their ability to work on equal terms with men across an entire range of industries, a fact which hurts the global economy. Reducing the employment gap between men and women by only 1/4 would, according to the ILO, add 3.9% or $5.8 trillion to the world economy by 2025. 

Society also suffers the cost of women’s lack of access to a complete education. As a result, according to the World Bank, the economy loses out on around $30 trillion a year. The world will be a richer place if jobs and education are made more available to women. 

In our country, we can consider these two problems solved. We are ahead of many European countries in the employment and education of women. However, the wage gap still remains. 

We have ideas to share and things to learn at the Forum. We will be discussing the experience of those countries where these problems have been successfully solved and the practical opportunities women have to access education, finance, markets, and entrepreneurship. We will hear representatives of the World Bank, UNIDO, UNESCO, and ILO talk about these issues at the Forum where they co-organize a series of discussions. 

The Forum will host the second BRICS Public-Private Dialogue ‘Women and Economy’. This new priority in BRICS cooperation is aimed at developing international projects for supporting women leaders and entrepreneurs. 

It is fair to say that one of the Forum’s main goals is broadening this kind of cooperation in the interest of women, economies, and societies. The Women 20 (W20) meeting, held for the first time in Russia during the Forum, will discuss methods of achieving that very goal. The meeting in St Petersburg is expected to feature a discussion of the role of W20 in extending women’s economic opportunities and the development of recommendations for G20 countries. 

The programme is full of exciting events: 30 discussion platforms, a summit of female diplomats, a meeting of the Female Governors’ Club, an interparliamentary dialogue, a presentation by the BRICS Women Business Alliance, discussions on digitalisation, and several bilateral business dialogues, as well as contract signings. 

We hope that the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum, just like the first, will be a territory of trust. It is aimed at increasing women’s contribution to the sustainable development of our planet and increasing the number of people who understand each other and value peace and welfare on Earth over political ambitions. 

By the Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council.

The views of the author do not necessarily reflect the views of the news outlet.