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Paris Women’s Forum: Partnership for the Development of All

2 December 2019
Женский форум в Париже: партнерство ради всеобщего развития

The Innosocium Foundation, a social platform of the Roscongress Foundation, took part in the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, WEFCOS, which was held in Paris on 20–22 November.

The Russian delegation included Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Galina Karelova, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Gulnaz Kadyrova, Russian G20 Sherpa and Deputy Chief of Presidential Experts’ Directorate Svetlana Lukash, Deputy CEO of the Roscongress Foundation and Director of the Innosocium Foundation Elena Marinina, and Director of the Promsvyazbank External Relations Directorate Vera Podguzova.

«We are working very hard to promote the women’s agenda both in Russia and globally. Our proposals have been included in the action plans and programmes of a number of international organizations, including the UN. We are preparing a work programme on the digital economy; Russia and the women’s community have introduced the Eurasian Women’s Forum Global Digital Platform, which has already received support from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). We are also actively working together with French women in various fields, especially in the creative industries. In fact, we possess similar programmes to support women in economics in aid in their advancement in decision-making positions in economics and politics,» Karelova said.

«Gender equality in the modern world is a fundamental task, and we in Russia are witnessing a trend that shows more and more opportunities for self-realization, including among women. But even when all the necessary conditions are there from the state to facilitate equal access for women to work, education, and the economy, the realization of these opportunities depends on many factors, including the support of these values, both on the level of companies and private business, and on the level of family and society,» Lukash said after speaking at the Forum.

A highlight of the Russian delegation’s visit was the Eurasian Women’s Forum Visiting Reception at the Trade Representation of Russia in Paris, dedicated to women’s cooperation and the development of the creative industries. Round table participants shared their achievements and discussed opportunities for popularizing Russian culture and folk crafts in France.

«We want the Innosocium Foundation to become a platform for finding solutions to preserve traditional Russian applied arts and crafts, and to make sure that technology, business and globalization are creative for the revival and development of this huge national potential. We want to ensure that Russian national heritage goes hand in hand with progress and becomes an integral part of our economy,» said Elena Marinina, Deputy CEO of the Roscongress Foundation and Director of the Innosocium Foundation.

The meeting was attended by Dentons’ Paris and Moscow offices partner Catherine Joffroy; President and Founder of Women in Governance Caroline Codsi; Founder of Lama Hourani Jewellery Lama Hourani; Translator, Poet, Illustrator, and Winner of the Rusophonia 2019 Award for the Best Translation from Russian into French Christine Zeytunyan-Belous; Executive Director of the Quand Les Russes Festival of Russian Cinema in Paris Korinna Danielou; YMCA Press Publisher and Co-Director of the Solzhenitsyn Paris Cultural Centre Melania Struve; Artist, Exhibition Curator, and President of the Cultural Crossroads Association Anna Filimonova; Chair of the Commission for Women’s Affairs of the Coordination Council of Russian Compatriots in France Natalia Kazuchiki-Bonchi, and Head of Russian-French Gastronomic Seasons Natalya Marzoeva.

Event participants spoke of the need to support manufacturers comprehensively in ways that included the creation of the necessary conditions for manufacturers regardless of the scale of production, as well as protecting intellectual property.

«The outlook for developing the industry of folk arts and crafts is great; experts have recognized that creative industries occupy the fastest growing sector of the economy. Over the past two years, we have been studying international experience and sharing practices and research. Young people truly desire to get involved in crafts and traditional art but often come up against the industry problem of low wages, which is caused, among other things, by the need to improve the economic condition of enterprises, which could be achieved by updating product range and expanding the ways it is promoted. We are confident that modern products made using historical craft technologies will succeed on the international market, and it is in order to make this possible that we conduct events of this kind,» Kadyrova said.

Also taking place in Paris as part of the Russian delegation’s visit was a meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the French Republic and the Principality of Monaco Alexey Meshkov. During the meeting, participants discussed opportunities for furthering dialogue between Russia and France, expanding women’s participation in the establishment of a sustainable society in both countries, and creating new opportunities for women to realize creative, entrepreneurial, and managerial potential in various sectors of the economy.

One of the most important results of the visit to France was the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement between WEFCOS and the Innosocium Foundation. The new agreement also includes an exchange of speakers, content, and networking opportunities at member forums. This means that some of the events held by the Roscongress Foundation will be involved in WEFCOS events; in addition to the annual Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, there are the Women’s Forums of the Middle East, North and South America, and Asia and Africa.

An agreement of intent was also signed between the Council of the Eurasian Women’s Forum, the Innosocium Foundation, and the Women’s Forum for Economy and Society (WEFCOS).

The Women’s Forum for Economy and Society was founded in 2005 with the goal of bringing together international influencers and representatives of business, culture, media, and non-governmental organizations at one platform to discuss how women can increase their contribution to the development of the global economy and civil society.