The Roscongress Foundation’s Healthy Life project and the Russian Public Chamber are organizing the panel discussion ‘Investing in Traditional Values: Russia’s National Idea of a Prosperous Large Family’. The session is part of the business programme of the conference ‘Creating a Healthy Society in the Far East and Arctic’, which is taking place on the opening day of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF). The discussion is part of the plan of events of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council, which are being organized by the Roscongress Foundation.
The session will be moderated by Sergey Rybalchenko, General Director of the Institute of Scientific and Public Expertise General Director and Chairman of the Russian Public Chamber’s Commission for Demographics and the Protection of the Family, Children, and Traditional Family Values. The session participants include: Russian First Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection Olga Batalina, First Deputy Chairwoman of the State Duma Committee on Family, Women, and Children Tatyana Butskaya, Deputy Secretary of the Russian Public Chamber Alexander Galushka, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for the Support of Children in a Difficult Life Situation Marina Gordeyeva, All-Russia People’s Front Expert and Deputy Chairwoman of the Russian Public Chamber’s Commission for Demographics and the Protection of the Family, Children, and Traditional Family Values Yulia Zimova, Advisor to the General Director of the Foundation for the Promotion of Public Opinion Research (VTsIOM) Yelena Mikhailova, Director of the Department for the Social Protection of the Population of the Vologda Region Alexander Yershov, Executive Director of the Healthy Cities, Districts, and Towns Association Tatyana Shestakova, and President of the Give Sunshine Charitable Foundation Saniyam Koval.
Strengthening the role of the family, improving the quality of life of families with children, and promoting family values are among the primary tasks not only of the government’s demographic policy, but also the shaping of a national identity. To this end, it is crucial to develop a policy to support families with children. However, practice shows that financial social support measures have a limited effect if policy measures are not based on the basic values of the family institution. Having lots of children is a traditional value shared by the Russian people that helps to preserve the nation’s identity during this period of global transformations. Breakthrough solutions are needed in the state demographic policy to revive the image of a strong, prosperous, and large family as a national idea of Russia. Favourable content should be created to form the right spiritual and family principles for the younger generation, parents need to be taught how to build effective interpersonal relationships, and tools must be developed to convey traditional family values to society.
“The image of a happy, large, full-fledged family with lots of kids is our traditional value. Along with the revival of family values in modern society, we must also develop a set of measures to support large families, including programmes to help mothers with many children who do not want to choose between family and work,” Rybalchenko said.
The participants will discuss how Russia’s demographic policy should be developed in the interests of the institution of the family and traditional values, what approaches is the Far East taking to improve the quality of life of families with children and what strategies is it employing to support the institution of the family and family values, what best practices of the Far Eastern Federal District’s regions to support motherhood and large families could become a precedent for exchanging experience and replication, what effective programmes exist in the macro-region to create information and educational content for young people that aims to strengthen family values, and what unique advantages of the nation’s cultural code could become a core for building a new family policy in Russia.
Developing human capital and improving the well-being and quality of life of the population, including improving the healthcare system and medical infrastructure in the Arctic, are among the main priorities of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023. The Roscongress Foundation is organizing the events of Russia’s chairmanship.