On October 26, the Federation Council of the Russian Federation held the first meeting of the Organizing Committee of the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum. The participants discussed the concept of the forthcoming event, reviewed the main points of the program, and exchanged their ideas and proposals regarding the organizing and holding the event. 

Valentina Matvienko, Chairperson of the Federation Council, reminded the participants of the event’s date. Saint Petersburg is to host the 2nd Eurasian Women’s Forum on September 20-21, 2018. However, it is important to take basic organizational decisions in advance in order to hold this event in a modern format, with a broad, interesting and topical agenda. 


“After the first Forum in 2015, about 1000 participants from 80 countries unanimously supported the idea of holding it regularly. It gave a powerful impetus to the formation of a new women's agenda and the development of new initiatives. Its final document was sent to the leaders of 166 states and 24 international organizations”, said Valentina Matvienko. 

The whole world is looking forward to taking part in the Second Eurasian Women's Forum. Many women parliamentarians from different countries, the delegates of the 137th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, expressed their desire to join the forthcoming event. According to the speaker, the experience of the Assembly should be fully used in the preparation of the Forum. It is important to note that one of the main tasks is to ensure a high level of representation of foreign participants at the Forum. 


According to the Chairperson of the Federation Council, the main objective of the 2nd Eurasian Women’s Forum is to strengthen international cooperation, develop partnership and communication to find new solutions to empower women and expand their role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Galina Karelova, Deputy Chairperson of the Federation Council, provided details of the program and organization of the upcoming event. According to her, today the program of the event includes more than 30 discussions platforms. The central thematic sessions and discussions will focus on the empowerment of women in politics, strengthening peace and security, economy, human capital development, global and national health strategies, environmental security and the development of digital technologies. 


Moreover, according to Galina Karelova, the Second Eurasian Women's Forum will feature all the relevant topics of the international women's agenda. 

“We have already received applications from international organizations and associations to conduct their discussion platforms. For the first time, panel sessions of UNIDO, UNESCO, presentation of the report of the World Health Organization, and the meeting of the women's business club BRICS will be held in terms of the Forum. A meeting of Women 20 is also to take place within the framework of this event”, she said. 

It is also worth mentioning public-private and business dialogues planned to become a part of the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum. The business dialogues ‘Russia-France’ and ‘Russia-Kazakhstan’ will be a continuation of the partnership resulting from the participation the Federation Council members and women entrepreneurs in the international design exhibition in Paris and in the International Forum ’Women for Energy of the Future’ in Astana. 

Open discussions and presentations will become an important part of the Forum's program. Participants of the event will talk about projects implemented for the benefit of women in Russia and in other countries. Success stories of women politicians, women entrepreneurs and women leaders of non-profit organizations will be included in the program as well. 


Ceremony of the Eurasian Women's Forum Award ‘Public Recognition’ for women achieving success in different activities will be a traditional part of the event. 

Lyudmila Bokova, a member of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State-Building, informed the participants of the meeting about the ceremony. All those present came to the conclusion that about 10 different nominations should be approved. 


Highlighting the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum in the media and on the Internet was an extremely important issue. Marina Volynkina, the Eurasian Women’s Community leader, presented a new concept of the Forum's web-portal. According to her, it should emphasize the uniqueness and scale of this event. 

Alexey Sergeev, Secretary General of the IPA CIS Council, reported that his organization joined the preparation of the Forum. The IPA secretariat under the guidance of the Organizing Committee has already formed a working group that closely cooperates with a working group established by the Federation Council. 


Yekaterina Inozemtseva, Strategy Director at Skolkovo Foundation, also expressed her desire to join organizing and holding the forthcoming Forum. 

Svetlana Chupsheva, General Director of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives proposed several new formats to be used in terms of the event. She reminded the participants of the meeting of the fact that 2018 was announced to be the Year of Japan in Russia and the Year of Russia in Japan. In this regard, the speaker expressed the idea of ​​holding a business breakfast in the format of a Japanese tea ceremony. In addition, Svetlana Chupsheva expressed her readiness to present a study on gender equality issues in the framework of the Forum and invite colleagues from other countries who could share experience in solving such issues. 


Yekaterina Lakhova, Chairperson of Russian Women's Union, Svetlana Lukash, Russia's G20 Sherpa, and senators of the Federation Council including Lilia Gumerova, Elena Popova, Zinaida Dragunkina, Olga Bessolova, Valentina Petrenko and others took an active part in the discussion of the agenda. 


At the end of the meeting, Galina Karelova thanked all those present for their active participation in the discussion of the forthcoming event. As she emphasized, at the first meeting of the Forum’s Organizing Committee there were not only women, but also men including senators and deputy ministers. This proves the relevance of the women's agenda. According to Galina Karelova, the participation of men in the Second Eurasian Women's Forum is necessary, because many global problems can be solved only through joint efforts. 

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

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov