On 1416 November 2018, Paris hosted the annual Global Meeting of the Womens Forum for the Economy & Society (WEFCOS). Thanks to the work of the Roscongress Foundation, for the first time successful Russian women were able to participate in the business programme of the Womens Forum: Russian G20 Sherpa and Deputy Head of the Presidential Experts Directorate Svetlana Lukash, Hero of the Russian Federation and Russian cosmonaut Yelena Serova, General Producer of Match TV Tina Kandelaki, and Founder and CEO of Aizel.ru Aizel Trudel. The Russian delegation at the Womens Forum Global Meeting also included the Vice President for International Relations of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) Victoria Panova, founder of the Fund for the Creation of the Cathedral of the Image of Edessa and Memorial Complex for the Liquidators of the Chernobyl NPP Disaster in Zalomnoe Marika Korotaeva, and head of League of Heroes Ksenia Shoygu. The Roscongress Foundation was represented in the Russian delegation by Roscongress Foundation Deputy CEO for Socio-Economic Agenda Elena Marinina.
«The Roscongress Foundations social platform aims to expand and stabilize support for international dialogue in the interest of the common good, equal opportunities, and strengthening the bridges between generations, countries, and men and women. Russia is a country with a rich culture and history and a unique way of life. For example, Russian women are better than anyone else at harmoniously uniting work and family in their lives. We need to share our experiences. We need to communicate and work towards a more inclusive world, a world with equal opportunities for men and women from different countries,» said Roscongress Foundation Deputy CEO for Socio-Economic Agenda Elena Marinina.
On the first day of the Global Meeting, at the official headquarters of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, the plenary Building a Bridge to the G20 touched on the issues of sustainable, inclusive growth, the development of womens leadership, overcoming inequality and stereotypes affecting women, increasing womens roles in society and expanding their economic activity, and supporting and facilitating stability in the global economy as a whole. Speakers at the event included Russian G20 Sherpa and Deputy Head of the Presidential Experts Directorate Svetlana Lukash, Secretary-General of the OECD Ángel Gurría, Executive President of the Womens Forum for the Economy & Society (WEFCOS) Clara Gaymard, Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay, Managing Director of WEFCOS Chiara Corazza, Frances Minister of Labour Muriel Pénicaud, Chief of Staff and Sherpa to the G20 of the OECD Gabriela Ramos, and others.
«One of the factors involved in strengthening the economy is reinforcing the role of women in society, expanding their business and economic activity across all economic sectors, which will also positively affect sustainable development and support a balanced society, help improve standards of living for women and men, families and communities, and will facilitate the improvement of business practices,» noted Svetlana Lukash.
At the Roscongress Foundations invitation, Hero of the Russian Federation and former Russian cosmonaut Yelena Serova spoke in the roundtable A view from space: perspectives from explorers of the galaxy. The roundtable participants discussed the importance of womens participation in space exploration, the measures that need to be taken to popularize the profession of astronaut among women, and discussed their experiences and the future development of the space sector. The discussion also featured other outstanding women astronauts such as former astronaut with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Chiaki Mukai, former astronaut with the Centre National dÉtudes Spatiales and the European Space Agency (ESA) Claudie Haigneré, and former astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Sandy Magnus Ph.D.
«History has played out in our country in such a way that women were given equal rights to men. Its possible that this is precisely why a prevailing number of women are currently working in Russias space sector and why they are largely responsible for the future of national cosmonautics. Our women have always worked and continue to work shoulder to shoulder with our respected men. I am convinced that thanks to such a harmonious working union we will be able to achieve the highest levels of excellence,» said Yelena Serova.
General Producer of Match TV Tina Kandelaki served as a speaker at the roundtable By us and for us: women and media. During the discussion, the speakers discussed mens stereotypes and barriers to change in the media industry, as well as what needs to be done to increase diversity and inclusiveness in media and communications. The roundtable also featured Head of Editorial Partnerships and Special Projects for BBC World Service Group Emily Kasriel, President of Publicis Group France Agathe Bousquet, and Director of the Gender Initiative for The New York Times Francesca Donner.
«The narrative of mens superiority in media must not be a default for those who believe that womens presence in media must be changed. A personal example of independence and self-reliance is the most effective way to support the idea of equal rights and womens opportunities. This is true of journalism, as well as any other area. Russian women are far more independent than women in the West. While theyre still discussing what should be done, weve already found the solution: take personal responsibility for your fate and career. This can be considered an international victory for Russian women. The Russian delegations participation in this Forum serves as an opportunity to advance our agenda among American and European audiences a clear international victory for the Roscongress Foundation,» said General Producer of Match TV Tina Kandelaki.
Founder and CEO of Aizel.ru Aizel Trudel took part in the seminar Driving inclusive progress by supporting women owned businesses. The seminar also featured President of News RSE Nora Barsali and CEO and Founder of NightBalance Eline Vrijland-van Beest. The speakers discussed their personal experiences overcoming barriers in business, what forms of support and cutting-edge methods are needed to advance private companies, and how the experiences of developing countries may help women in countries with developed economies overcome barriers.
This is the first time in the 13-year history of the Womens Forum for the Economy & Society that a Russian delegation has been included in the Annual Global Meeting, a fact that was made possible only through the support of the Roscongress Foundation Directorate of Social Programmes.
The Womens Forum Global Meeting also included an official signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding between the Roscongress Foundation and the Womens Forum for the Economy and Society (WEFCOS). The main focus of the memorandum is both parties cooperation in promoting the development of the international womens community and strengthening international sociocultural relations and cooperation among women at the global level to solve topical social issues through the organization and holding of joint events. The document was signed by Roscongress Foundation Deputy CEO for Socio-Economic Agenda Elena Marinina and WEFCOS Managing Director Chiara Corazza.