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Opinions & Interviews

10 Oct 2017

Belarus hailed as leader in promoting women's economic empowerment

Belarus hailed as leader in promoting women's economic empowerment

MINSK, 10 October (BelTA) - Belarus plays a leading role in women’s economic empowerment, Deputy UNDP resident representative in Belarus Zachary Taylor told the media on the sidelines of the international conference “Women's Entrepreneurship as a precondition for sustainable development”, BelTA has learned.

Zachary Taylor noted the high level of education of women in Belarus, their participation in the life of the society. “Our project is aimed at providing women with financial resources, start-up capital for starting a business in Minsk and in the regions, for example setting up farms, starting business in various areas of homeopathic medicine, and so on. There are many sources of financing of this business: for example, the UNDP cooperates with the EU in local development (projects worth €10 million), with the Russian Federation in social entrepreneurship ($2 million

“There is a possibility to use available international resources and pool them with domestic finance source in order to provide women with cheap resources to implement promising business ideas,” Zachary Taylor said. “Efforts should be focused not so much on big business but on the support of small business, particularly in the regions,” he added.

He cited the examples of small business support at the local level. For example, this is a project of production of organic tea in Brest Oblast. In Gomel it is the development of traditional crafts and rural farms. About 100 women have been placed into business training courses. Under the project funded by Russia support is provided to business incubators.

The forum is held as part of the Sustainable Development Weeks 2017. It has brought together representatives of government agencies, research organizations and business. The forum is expected to develop proposals on the measures to support female entrepreneurship in Belarus. Special attention is paid to the ways of promoting the gender economic equality as one of the important conditions for sustainable development. Gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls was declared one of 17 sustainable development goals until 2030 at the UN Summit on Sustainable Development (New York, 2015).

The forum is set to consider the state support of female entrepreneurship: promotion of employment and self-employment, easing access to financial resources. Another important topic for discussion is female social entrepreneurship in the context of the inclusion of people with disabilities. The participants of the forum will also get acquainted with the German experience in matters of women’s leadership role in achieving the sustainable development goals. The breakout sessions are to discuss gender equality as a prerequisite for sustainable economic development; the role of women in partnership: business, public organizations, power; and social entrepreneurship through the prism of gender equality.


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