Women Form More Than One Third of the World GDP
BRICS: Economic Agenda for Inclusive Growth in the Digitalisation Era
Economic agenda of Russia in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is aimed at accelerating the inclusive growth and presupposes active involvement of women in the economy while ensuring equal opportunities for men and women. Following this agenda and its national priorities, Russia initiated the BRICS public-private dialogue ‘Women and the Economy’. The new session of ‘Women and the Economy’ took place within active participation of international organisations at the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum (September 2018) and was dedicated to women’s participation in the world trade. The session in Novokuznetsk served as a specific continuation and development of that dialogue. The participants discussed a wider set of initiatives that Russia proposed within BRICS. Those initiatives include creation of the BRIСS Women's Business Alliance, participation of women in digital economy and electronic commerce, and development and integration of remote regions of BRICS countries in the epoch of digital transformation. The suggestion to create a crafts-related project that would help women sell their products online was voiced at the discussion.
According to Natalia Strigunova, Deputy Director of Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, women form more than one third of the world GDP.
President of the Brazilian department of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Eunice Aparecida Da Cruz (Brazil) believes that it is necessary to work out innovative mechanisms of support of women employed in industry and open representational offices of BRIСS Women's Business Alliance in all BRICS countries. “The representational offices must eliminate all the obstacles in women’s entrepreneurial activity so that women could participate in all business projects thus strengthening the economy of BRICS countries”, she stressed.
According to Archana Garodia Gupta, Former President of FICCI Ladies Organisation (India), today it is necessary to teach women the skills of electronic commerce. “Today, it is impossible to imagine business without the internet and phones. Electronic commerce platforms, such as Amazon, are an important tool in the world trade and export. Goods produced by women must be promoted to the international market. To do that, it is necessary to organise e-commerce education of women, including women living in remote and rural areas”, she explained.
Anna Nesterova, Founder and Chairperson of the board of Global Rus Trade, Head of the Russian Working Group on the Digital Economy at the BRICS Business Alliance, informed the listeners about the initiatives on creation of a network of electronic commerce platforms existing in Russia. She told them about the ways of their integration so as to work out safe rules of the game and cooperate within BRICS. “Today a single payment system within BRICS is being formed”, she said.
As stated by Tatyana Alekseyeva, deputy of the State Duma, there is imbalance lying in the fact that women entrepreneurs are mainly engaged in traditional women’s branches (trade and food services). There are less than 15% of women in the industrial field. Their share in hi-tech sectors and innovation-related activities is even less.
“It is important to eliminate this balance. To make that possible, young women must receive technical education. In addition, BRICS must become the new platform for developing women’s business”, she says.
At the same time, there are serious changes in the set of professions where women are employed. It used to be difficult to imagine women working in shipping sector. However, today they are mastering this profession as well and do that successfully, which can be seen on the example of Wang Songwen, Vice President of COSCO Shipping Europe. Of course, this branch depends on many factors including weather conditions. Difficult work at ports is still done primarily by men. However, digitalization and development of shipping sector made it possible for women to actively participate in the field. Finance, management, and electronic fields are the direction successfully being mastered by women. They occupy not only low career positions but also have significant representation in top-management of companies.
In recent years, the structure of employment of women has been changing. New directions of women’s activities are appearing today. As mentioned by Anna Nesterova, moderator of the expert session titled ‘BRICS: Economic Agenda for Inclusive Growth in the Digitalisation Era’, export used not to be divided into men’s and women’s. However, there is a whole trend in this field today. Vera Podguzova, Managing Director of the Russian Export Centre, told more about that. According to her, soon the new ‘Buyer-Seller’ electronic system will be created, which will ease the interaction of different states. All the participants of the session highly assessed the forum as a wonderful opportunity to develop international cooperation in all spheres.
Tatyana Vorozhtsova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov