Photo credits: Maryia Vincheuskaya, UNDP in Belarus
Participants at the International Forum of Women Leaders “Equal Opportunities for a Better Future” held in Minsk, Belarus recently adopted a declaration calling for the further advancement of women’s participation in political and public life.
The Minsk Declaration of Women Leaders was adopted on June 22, 2016.
The forum brought together about 100 participants from different spheres, including members of parliaments, civil servants, academics, journalists, civil society representatives, activists and international and regional organizations’ representatives.
“RWI co-organized the forum and stands behind the declaration since we understand the importance of building inclusive societies, where, amongst others, such human rights as equality and women rights are upheld,” says Olga Bezbozhna, RWI Programme Officer, who works on academic cooperation in Belarus.
“The forum and declaration offered a very sound and respectful venue to one more time bring these human rights into focus and discuss how we can practically work towards their achievement,” says Bezbozhna.
RWI co-organized the event along with the Belarusian State University, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Council of Europe (CoE), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Belarus, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Belarus
Cooperation going back to 2008
RWI has cooperated with the Belarusian State University on human rights and gender equality since 2008. We set down with Dr. Victor Shadurski, the dean of Faculty of International Relations at the Belarusian State University, to ask a few questions.
Why is the Declaration of Women Leaders significant?
The Declaration is valuable for many reasons, including the fact that in a concentrated manner it substantiates a significant meaning of gender equality, a large participation of women in all spheres of activities, bearing in mind the aim to build a just and welfare society in all the countries. The document reflects basic international agreements calling for the establishment of equality between men and women. It formulates the directions for activities in this sphere.
Why is this forum significant and needed?
It is an effective platform for a wide and concerned exchange of experience in the sphere of gender equality. It encourages female leadership with the participation of international organizations, state and non-state structures from Belarus and other countries. The strategy and tactics in building a state of equal opportunities will be taken into account during the discussion.