Governors of the World, Unite!

Governors of the World, Unite!

It was decided to create the Eurasian Union of Women – regional leaders 

The Second Eurasian Women’s Forum held the international debate club called ‘Female Governors: Strategy for Regional Performance and Growth’. Natalya Komarova, the governor of Hanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, moderated the discussion. The notion of soft power describes her work perfectly. Ms. Komarova supervised the dialogue heartily, shared her secrets and jokes while shaping the discussion strictly and logically. It was clear the debate seemed relaxed due to the enormous amount of preparations. 

Gudrun Mosler-Törnström from Austria, the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, was the first to give her speech. 20 years ago, when she started her political career, women in politics were treated as maids. However, now the situation has changed. Ms. Mosler-Törnström said: “Women are becoming more and more visible”. 

The Congress she presided implemented gender quotas. Even greater results can be achieved through uniting, sharing suggestions and projects, and work coordination. “I adopted many ideas at the Forum. I was listening to its participants and thinking: I can do this, and that, and that as well”. 

Irina Makieva, the Deputy Chairperson of Vnesheconombank, continued the platform with her report. She reminded the participants she was not working in some typical bank. The public corporation addresses strategic questions of country’s development, including single-industry cities, which are numerous in Russia.

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Ms. Makieva turned the floor over to the young participants coming from single-industry cities. Kristina Kuznetsova, a schoolchild from Leninsk-Kuznetsky, shared that even the main holiday there is Miner’s day. The girl admitted she was inspired with Irina Makieva’s success story. The schoolchild decided building her career consciously, for example, by attending various trainings. In turn, Ekaterina Manvelyan, the girl from Hanty-Mansiysk told about the activity of over 10 thousand volunteers in her city. Her friend decided to develop the yard near her house. The city authorities together with sponsors noticed her initiative. Thus, volunteers have already refurbished 38 yards of Hanty-Mansiysk. 

I hope girls who started their social activities so early will become mayors and governors themselves in future. 

Kazahstan has something to tell about female representation in politics. Asel Junusova, the Deputy Akim (Governor) of Almaty, shared that women make a half of their administration. The representation in Parliament is only at 20%; however, women chair the half of the commissions. 

The Republic of South Africa also has something to be proud of in the sphere. That was clear from the speech of Nomasonto Sibanda-Thusi, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of South Africa to Russia. For example, women make around 50% of 28 South African ambassadors. Women head four out of nine South African provinces. 

Like in many countries, there is gender discrimination in Norway. For instance, pay gap there is at 18%. Sonja Alice Steen, Nordland County mayor said her female compatriots have major achievements as well. Thus, the country introduced gender quotas in traditionally male professions. Applicants’ qualifications should be surely taken into consideration. However, with other things being equal, gender balance has to be observed. For me, a representative of the Eurasian Women’s Community news agency, it was especially important to hear Ms. Steen’s words about the necessity of information support for NGOs and women’s initiatives and the essential nature of role models. That is exactly what we are doing and while encouraging other mass media to join us.

Aisha Rashid Leytaim, member of the Parliament of the UAE, shattered the stereotypes about gender inequality in the Eastern countries. She said that women take many leading positions in her country and many of them are young. For example, Minister of Youth is only 24. 

It was obvious that the topic of armed conflicts prevention was covered on the International Day of Peace. Gaye Doganoglu, vice president of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and Deputy Mayor of Antalya, told about measures preventing terrorism in Turkey. 

Irina Vlah, Governor of Gagauzia, gave a very impassioned presentation. She became the first woman to take the post of governor in her country. Many people didn’t believe in her but she won and did such a great job that no one has now doubts that women can take such a responsible post. That’s what it means to always be sure in your success because that is the very reason that prevents women from launching their business and realising their projects. 

Yanina Dubeykovskaya, President of the World Communication Forum Association in Davos, told about interesting research of women’s movements. It turned out that inner problems and low self-estimate prevent many women from realisation of their ideas. We need to change this situation because underestimation of women’s business potential prevents realising many projects. Women have many advantages over men: for example, emotionality helps in solving a great deal of issues. 

Girls work well in in situations where multitasking is required. They build non-conflict relations, which has a good impact on work results. 

Those theses must be close to Veronika Peshkova, member of the Expert Council of Committee for Development of Women’s Entrepreneurship of Opora Russia. She made a series of proposals on the issues under discussion. Women leaders shared their experience: Marina Kovtun, governor of the Murmansk Oblast; Elena Lapushkina, Mayor of Samara; Olesya Kharitonenko, Mayor of Yevpatoriya; and Professor Bettina Pfleiderer, President of the Medical Women´s International Association (MWIA). 

The participants of the World Communication Forum came to a conclusion: joint efforts will result in a more productive work. That is why the idea of creating the Eurasian Union of Women – regional leaders was approved unanimously. Our portal is ready to cover the work of that union. We told the participants of discussion club about that. 

The Forum’s discussion is over but it will continue on the portal. Keep up with our articles. 

Tatyana Vorozhtsova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community 

Translated by Nikolay Boykov and Yan Zarubin