The preservation of traditional family values is the key to successful development not only in the present, but also in the future. Vladimir Putin said this when addressing the participants of the Eurasian Women’s Forum (EZhF), which takes place these days in St. Petersburg. For the previous day of work delegates from different parts of the world have already discussed global problems in the field of ecology, social policy and information. Despite the gradual improvement of the situation and the reduction of discrimination, women in the modern world continue to face a large number of challenges, the EZhF participants told Izvestia.
The key to successful development
The Eurasian Women’s Forum has been held since 2015 and has already become an important international platform uniting women leaders from all over the world. This year, the congress of the fair sex is held in St. Petersburg from 13 to 15 October. Vladimir Putin also attended the official opening of the forum on October 14. In his speech to the participants, the President first of all noted the importance of preserving traditional family values.
“Oddly enough, it sometimes causes controversy, we hear criticism in our address even in this regard. Of course, with the absolute need to ensure the freedoms of every person, including the freedom of self-identification, nevertheless, I am convinced that traditional family values are the most important moral support and a guarantee of successful development both in the present and in the future, ”stressed head of state.
He also spoke about the widespread presence of women in Russian government bodies and bright stories of entrepreneurial success. In addition, the Russian leader recalled the measures of state support. “Over the past few years, in general, we have seriously reconfigured, made the entire system of payments for families with children more efficient and we intend to continue this work.“, – said Vladimir Putin. In his opinion, it is necessary to create the necessary conditions so that women do not have to choose between family and profession.
Vladimir Putin speaking at the III Eurasian Women’s Forum at the Tauride Palace
Photo: RIA Novosti / Alexey Danichev
After the head of state, singer Polina Gagarina performed in front of the participants and sang the anthem of the forum. A short cultural break did not damage the working spirit. Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko in her speech, for example, listed the problems facing humanity.
«The issues of environmental protection are becoming more and more acute. And, unfortunately, politics often triumphs over science here.and the environmental agenda, which should unite peoples, is used as an instrument of confrontation. Increasingly, international law is being replaced by some kind of “rules”, in international relations the use of double standards and the imposition of models of development that are alien to them continues to be imposed on sovereign states“, – stressed Valentina Matvienko.
She did not bypass the global problems of poverty and misery. Nevertheless, the Speaker of the Federation Council expressed her confidence that joining the efforts of women from different parts of the world will make the world “more humane, fair and merciful.” This topic was supported in a video message by UN Secretary General Antonio Guteris.
«Women’s participation and leadership fosters stronger and more peaceful agreements, better social protection programs and a strengthened environmental agenda. I welcome the forum’s emphasis on close global cooperation to increase the participation of women in various fields.“, – said the secretary general.
Vice Speaker of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Galina Karelova, Speaker of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Valentina Matvienko and Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Tatyana Golikova at the III Eurasian Women’s Forum in the Tauride Palace
Photo: TASS / Alexander Demyanchuk
Also at the plenary session were Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, President of the International Forum of the BRICS Countries Purnima Annand, Head of the Central American Parliament Fanny Carolina Fernandez, as well as many other representatives of the women’s community.
Despite the epidemiological difficulties, the representation at the forum can hardly be called impressive. St. Petersburg was visited by women parliamentarians from different countries, representatives of international organizations, global corporations, business circles, the scientific community, as well as authoritative figures of the international women’s movement… This forum brought together guests from more than a hundred countries of the world, 23 international organizations, representatives of all regions of Russia.
By the way, strict sanitary requirements were imposed on the participants – daily testing for COVID-19 and the obligatory wearing of medical masks. This, however, did not in the least prevent the creation of a friendly and working atmosphere. During the first day of the forum (October 13), the participants had time to discuss environmental issues, climate change, the problems of compatriots abroad, the role of women in the media and a number of other issues. In addition to special thematic platforms, women actively communicated during lunches, where they exchanged experiences.
Guests of the III Eurasian Women’s Forum at the Tauride Palace
Photo: TASS / Alexander Demyanchuk
In the Tavricheskiy Palace, which became the central place of discussions, the speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko on the first day met with the heads of the parliaments of Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, as well as with the chairman of the Central American Parliament… The cultural agenda turned out to be no less informative. After the completion of the venues, the EWF participants went to the Mariinsky Theater.
There is a problem
From year to year, the substantive part of the forum is being filled with a new agenda, Lilia Gumerova, chairman of the Federation Council committee on science, education and culture, told Izvestia on the sidelines of the EZHF. She also emphasized the attention of the country’s leadership to the problems of women and those events that indicate gender inequality.
— The President’s involvement shows a sensitive attitude towards the promotion and support of women. At the last forum, women did not release Vladimir Putin for 40 minutes after his speech… They saw that the head of such a strong state was ready to listen, hear and help, ”she reminded.
Nevertheless, problems for women still persist, Inna Svyatenko, head of the Federation Council committee on social policy, told Izvestia on the sidelines of the EZhF.
Photo: RIA Novosti / Ekaterina Chesnokova
– Women have a special role in life and family. We at the forum talk a lot about the fact that there is some labor inequality. Colleagues from abroad complained that women paid lower wages for the same job. There is still a forced marriage in Muslim countries– Svyatenko expressed regret.
She also spoke about the importance of exchange of experience between countries and assured that this will help in solving existing problems. Yana Aizikovich, the founder of the Russian-Speaking Women of Israel organization, agrees with this position.
— The Eurasian Women’s Forum is of great importance for all compatriots living abroad. Women today face gender inequality in the first place… This is not a problem in Israel, women are on a par with men there. Nevertheless, they are still fighting to have more women in parliament, ”the participant told Izvestia.
She added that this platform provides an opportunity to communicate, showcase their projects and attract people from other countries to them. In addition, such forums help in the study of Russian culture, traditions and language.