Day zero began with the exhibition of women exporters’ projects “Made in Russia: Export Made by Women”. Chairperson of the IPA CIS Council, Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Valentina Matvienko addressed the participants with a welcoming speech, expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation and the Russian Export Center for the support of women entrepreneurship and organization of the exhibition, and talked to women entrepreneurs.
The International Mental Arithmetic Championship UCMAS for girls was also a part of the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum. The event took place at the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, involving around 200 girls from Russia, CIS and European countries.
A number of open discussions also took place during the Forum’s day zero.
The participants of the “Women in the Development of Social Entrepreneurship” discussion proposed a number of definitions of “social entrepreneurship” and possible measures on behalf of the government that could facilitate the resolution of existing problems.
The participants of the discussion “For the Health of Women of All Ages” focused on new methods of treatment and suggested ways to increase the availability and quality of medical care.
“Women in E-Commerce” discussed a new social project “Girls Solve” (girlssolve.com) aimed at development of digital skills of girls for further professional employment.
The participants of the “Programs and Institutes for the Development of Women Entrepreneurship” discussion considered the ways of improving the business and social environment for the development of women entrepreneurship. Particular attention was paid to educational programs aimed at increasing the women’s financial literacy.
Some of the most interesting and lively discussions took place at the panels on franchising issues in the Russian Federation, and on effective nutrition systems which preserve child health.
The Forum offered a venue not only for discussions and roundtables, but also for official meetings. Chairperson of the IPA CIS Council, Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Valentina Matvienko held a number of bilateral meetings.
During the meeting with the IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron the parties discussed the upcoming meeting of “Women 20” to take place on 20 September, and the upcoming IPU anniversary. In 2019 the oldest parliamentary union in the world celebrates its 130th anniversary.
Valentina Matvienko also held a meeting with Speaker of the Federal National Council of the United Arab Emirates Amal Al Qubaisi. The parties touched upon the issue of humanitarian cooperation and expressed satisfaction with the level of bilateral relations, including the parliamentary dimension.
The issue of gender equality was also discussed in the course of meeting with Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Women of the Kingdom of Bahrain Hala Al Ansari. “It is possible to achieve progress in gender equality only through partnership of men and women,” – noted Valentina Matvienko.
In the course of the meeting with the UN Deputy Secretary General, Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the IPA CIS Council Chairperson stressed that the Forum’s program fully complies with the current international agenda and meets the provisions adopted by the UN Women and similar organizations.
Valentina Matvienko also met with Chairperson of the Indian National Congress parliamentary fraction Sonia Gandhi within the margins of the Forum. The parties discussed the consonance of the agenda of the second Eurasian Women’s Forum with the current international agenda.
The issues related to the development and strengthening of international relations in humanitarian field, as well as in the field of education, healthcare, and protection of motherhood and childhood, were discussed during bilateral meeting with the First Lady of the Republic of Guinea, Head of the Foundation for Mother and Child Health Djene Kaba Condé.
Secretary General of the IPA CIS Council Yuri Osipov held a meeting with PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier. The parties reiterated their interest in the development of bilateral cooperation and interaction within the international parliamentary platforms.
Representatives of the delegations of the IPA CIS member nations also held a number of bilateral meetings in the margins of the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum.