A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5,000 people working in Russia and abroad.

The Foundation works alongside various UN departments and other international organizations, and is building multi-format cooperation with 173 economic partners, including industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions, financial, trade, and business associations from 78 countries worldwide, and 188 Russian public organizations, federal and legislative agencies, and federal subjects.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian t.me/Roscongress, English – t.me/RoscongressDirect, and Spanish t.me/RoscongressEsp. Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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BRICS+ Women Leaders Join Efforts to Promote a Fair World and Sustainable Development
6 September 2022
15:00—16:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
BRICS+ can address global issues of gender equality

Of course, BRICS is an essential instrument of global governance that brings together the dynamic advanced economies of each region. These are countries that are globally responsible economically, politically, and socially, that promote the idea of a just and equitable world. This is very important. There is a growing debate about the importance of an association such as BRICS+. <...> BRICS is an inclusive format, not an exclusive one. It is those countries that are open to the world, that work with each other and with their partners around the world to make the geo-order more sustainable, more stable and bring prosperity to all — Victoria Panova, Vice Rector, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Russian Sherpa, The Women 20 (W20).

BRICS and BRICS+ countries are among the leaders in women’s participation in leadership positions, not only in politics. <…> The BRICS countries have a vibrant civil society in line with their historical, cultural specificities; there has been a growth of civil society and women's organizations that fight for equality <…> It needs to be said that many countries have achieved de facto equality <...> of course our countries should strive [for this], because achieving real equality is a sign of high culture, it is the key to achieving economic well-being and prosperity. Russian partners are actively engaged in this activity. Such work is also understood in other member states of the commonwealth — Oleg Kobyakov, Director, Liaison Office with the Russian Federation, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The credibility of the BRICS on the world stage is steadily growing, and the partner countries are building their relations based on openness, equality, pragmatism, and solidarity. We see that the association is expanding, and it is not for nothing that we are already working in the format of BRICS+. Women are certainly contributing to the development of the commonwealth. <...> Among the priorities is the implementation of projects with international participation. And it is encouraging to note that, despite the current environment, all our partners continue to cooperate and implement joint projects. The establishment of the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance was an important step in enhancing women’s cooperation... Today, the Alliance is active, with working groups formed and active in the core areas of BRICS work — Elena Perminova, Deputy Chairperson of the Federation Council Committee on the Budget and Financial Markets.

ISSUES
Women’s overwork and ‘gender-based violence’

Most of those employed in agriculture are women. They are horticulturists, entrepreneurs, market vendors, and leaders at all points along the agri-food chain. However, despite the large contribution of women in the agrifood chain, the gender gap is very wide. It is also true for working conditions, wages, leisure time, child-rearing, recovery from childbirth, and a return to full-time careers once children are in the care of the state – nurseries, kindergartens, and schools. The fact that women in our countries have a disproportionate workload and much of their labour goes unrecognised and unpaid - all leaders, men, and women alike, need to bear this in mind — Oleg Kobyakov, Director, Liaison Office with the Russian Federation, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Issues of ‘gender-based violence’ and aggression against women are present all over the world. Women need to participate in interaction with employers on an equal footing with men. There should be parity in income and opportunities to take up management positions in companies, the economy – wherever men dominate. Often women do not have the same benefits as men. This is not just an issue of equality: it is also an issue of unemployment. <…> So, for us, as members of BRICS, the emancipation of women is very important... It is not just ‘we are coming your way’. Women should be just as equal in everything we talk about. Our political leaders – the leaders of each country – have already shown the importance of women’s role — Sarah Mosoetsa, Associate Professor of Sociology at the Witwatersrand University; Chief Executive Officer, National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS).

With women making up 50 per cent of the population, and in some countries even more, it is clear that we have a great responsibility, especially when it comes to dealing with the fate of humanity. <…> It is no secret that throughout history the dominant ideas have been strongly sexist and patriarchal. This has reduced our social role to domestic responsibilities, which involve women being inside the home. At the same time, issues that apply to everyone are dealt with outside the home. <…> Housewife’s work is not paid and is not included in national economic calculations. Thus, domestic work continues to ‘subsidise’ the economies of countries. If this contribution were counted in monetary terms, it would help assess the role of women in society — Maria Luisa Ramos Urzagaste, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Bolivia to the Russian Federation.

Pandemic has slowed job recovery for women and girls — Gulden Turktan, Founding President of W20; Turkish W20 Sherpa; Member, Presidential Council, KAGIDER (Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey).

SOLUTIONS
Creating conditions and spaces for further dialogue and the development of measures to overcome women's problems

Adhere to the principles of working together, which we have started with our friends. It is the development of certain principles in this work: we should not only know what progress is being made, we should deal with these issues so that we are mutually accountable. It is important that consistent work on knowledge and technology sharing continues — Sarah Mosoetsa, Associate Professor of Sociology at the Witwatersrand University; Chief Executive Officer, National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS).

We have to work together to analyse the causes, e.g. climate change, poverty, exploitation of labour. Otherwise, we will not be able to offer real solutions to these problems. <…> We need to include men in all dialogues and discussions on women’s issues, because if we stay in isolation, they will never know our views and concerns. We also need to make men understand that it is not about confronting the sexes, but about joining forces to deal with factors such as poverty, resource depletion, access to education, health care and so on. We need to abandon the paternalistic role of men in relation to women, including among women — Maria Luisa Ramos Urzagaste, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Bolivia to the Russian Federation.

Every EEF-type platform should have one where women can speak out. <…> We need to convince governments, men, that we can stand on our own feet, that nothing will break us and that we can be relied upon. <...> The BRICS countries have a great opportunity in this respect — Gulden Turktan, Founding President of W20; Turkish W20 Sherpa; Member, Presidential Council, KAGIDER (Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey).

There are five key ways to achieve equity objectives. The first is that 25% of production in developed countries, if we are talking about agriculture, comes from government support of women’s agriculture. There is a 25–30% increase in productivity if a woman is doing it. We need to support that. Next point: The global economy depends on the work that women and girls do in the health, social sectors. I believe that those women who are engaged in these sectors need to be supported by national governments. The private sector can also support these activities. The third is to support women’s leadership both internationally and nationally. It must be noted that the presence of women in leadership positions allows for greater results in sustainable development. The fourth point is that governments need to fund women’s organizations; cooperation between these two actors allows for the achievement of women’s well-being goals. Moreover, it makes politicians more accountable to their people. Number five is giving women better access to health care — Vanda Gagiano, Honorary President, Free State Women Agricultural Union, Republic of South Africa.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS