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Opinions & Interviews

14 Nov 2018

Gender equality named one of Belarus' sustainable development goals

Gender equality named one of Belarus' sustainable development goals

MINSK, 14 November (BelTA) – Sustainable development of any country is impossible without care for the prestige of the family, treatment of women with dignity and respect, and securing gender equality, Deputy Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic, Chairwoman of the Belarusian Union of Women Marianna Shchetkina said at the Sanctity of Motherhood forum on 14 November, BelTA has learned.

“A modern woman can no longer exist within the family only. Today women are active participants in the formation of the civil society. Ensuring gender equality is defined as one of the accelerators for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Belarus,” said Marianna Shchetkina.

In the Global Gender Gap 2017 Report of the World Economic Forum Belarus ranked 26th out of 144 countries, up four positions in the global gender equality index from 2016. Women strive for financial independence, rely on a successful career.

According to Marianna Shchetkina, one of the modern growth points is the development of female entrepreneurship. So far, women's business has lagged behind in size and speed of development if compared to companies headed by men, but women are more socially oriented and more often choose social, educational and medical services. “At the same time, combining professional and family responsibilities remains a female problem. As one household survey showed, women spend twice as much time on household and child care as men. These approaches need to be changed. We need to get rid of stereotypes to reveal women’s potential, expand their ability to combine different roles,” the chairman of the Belarusian Union of Women said.

She cited as an example the whole range of events, especially humanitarian and charitable ones, implemented by the Belarusian Union of Women, and emphasized the importance of cooperation with government bodies, national and foreign women's organizations, embassies accredited in Belarus, the Associated Country Women of the World, the UN Office in Belarus (UNDP), UNICEF. “No task can be solved without combining the efforts of government bodies and the civil society. Partnership is very important,” said Marianna Shchetkina.

"What our future will be and how much progress we will achieve depend largely on how we raise our children and what the next generation will be like. Among the forum participants are representatives of different professions, attitudes, political positions. However, we all share a responsible life position, sincere, indifferent attitude to the problems of the family institution that arise in modern conditions and are in the center of public attention today. I hope that together we will be able to find answers to pressing questions in the area,” Marianna Shchetkina said.

The 6th Sanctity of Motherhood forum has gathered in Minsk more than 400 participants from 11 countries, including Belarus, Russia, Serbia, the United States, China, Iran, Bulgaria, Israel, Poland to discuss the theme “Family in the modern world: importance, trends and prospects.

The event has been organized by the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation (Russia) together with the Karic brothers foundation (Serbia) with the support of the Minsk City Hall and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of Belarus.

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