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26 Oct 2017

Women’s public associations of Belarus, Latvia sign cooperation agreement

MINSK, 26 October (BelTA) – Belarusian and Latvian women’s public associations reached a cooperation agreement in Minsk on 26 October, BelTA has learned.

The document was signed by Marianna Shchetkina, Deputy Chairperson of the Council of the Republic of Belarus’ National Assembly, Chairperson of the Belarusian Union of Women, and Aiva Viksna, Deputy Chairperson of the Employers' Confederation of Latvia, head of the Latvian non-governmental association LIDERE.

Marianna Shchetkina believes that it would be useful for both public associations to exchange their experience in the field of support for women in business. “In 2016, the Belarusian Union of Women initiated considerable effort to develop female entrepreneurship, especially in rural areas. There are far fewer attractive jobs there than in cities. This is why we focus on supporting businesswomen in rural areas in providing services and setting up ventures,” Marianna Shchetkina remarked.

She drew attention to the work of the Women in Business club formed by successful Belarusian businesswomen. They educate their colleagues and help them make their first steps in business. Similar clubs operate in every Belarusian region.

According to Marianna Shchetkina, relations with foreign public associations help women working in different fields establish personal contacts. She said there are plans to work out a joint plan of action together with LIDERE. “We are interested in this organization’s methodology of assistance to business in rural areas and other promising solutions of our Latvian colleagues,” she added.

In turn, Aiva Viksna emphasized that women account for 37 to 39% of all Latvia’s entrepreneurs, which is one of the highest figures in Europe. “We plan to conduct a survey among female entrepreneurs in November to learn their problems and business goals. By the way, a similar opinion poll was carried out 15 years ago. We want to define the trends in women’s business, launch new projects to support female entrepreneurs, and also come up with initiatives to develop the business environment, in general,” Aiva Viksna said.

“The women’s movement has the same goals in different countries: peace, stability, security, proper labor conditions, harmony in the family, sustainable future for children,” Marianna Shchetkina summarized.

The agreement on cooperation between the two associations envisages strengthening bilateral and regional collaboration, holding joint events, carrying out projects to develop business and support female entrepreneurs, implementing the policy on gender equality and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

A Latvian delegation of female entrepreneurs led by Aiva Viksna is in Belarus on a visit from 26 to 29 October. The visitors are to take part in a session of a club of businesswomen, meet with active members of the Belarusian Union of Women, and attend other events. The main topic for discussion is women in business and the development of female entrepreneurship.


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