Galina Karelova: Women’s cooperation between BRICS countries opens up new horizons and new spheres of interaction

Over 30 countries sent delegates to the BRICS Women’s Entrepreneurship Forum titled Shaping the Future Together.

Over 350 experts from more than 30 counties are attending the BRICS Women’s Entrepreneurship Forum titled Shaping the Future Together, which has opened in Moscow.

They are discussing cooperation prospects in the fields of women’s leadership and enhancing women’s role in finance, industry, innovation-driven growth, ESG transformation, inclusive economy, healthcare, creative industries, tourism, and food and environmental safety. The forum was organised by the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance (WBA) with support from the Eurasian Women’s Forum.

Chair of the Eurasian Women's Forum Council and member of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Galina Karelova greeted the forum participants on behalf of Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko and updated them on the contribution of the Russian women’s community to strengthening ties with BRICS.

“The BRICS countries are developing their relations on the basis of equality, mutual respect and the principles of openness, pragmatism and solidarity. The BRICS Women’s Business Alliance, created jointly with the Eurasian Women’s Forum, is playing a crucial role in the development of our cooperation. I have no doubt that the forum will give a powerful impetus to new joint projects and initiatives and will contribute to the upgrade of women’s agenda,” the Senator said.

She pointed out the contribution of Russian women entrepreneurs to increasing Russia’s trade with BRICS countries, which had increased by 140 percent over the past three years (compared to 2019–2020) and reached 294 billion roubles in 2023.

Galina Karelova noted that the activities of women entrepreneurs within the framework of the WBA helped strengthen BRICS’ business ties and also had an important humanitarian mission. She cited the example of the BRICS Labour and Educational Mobility Centres initiated by the Russian Chapter of the WBA. The first centre opened in 2023 under an agreement between Russia and South Africa. The goal is to ensure the free movement of professionals, students and tourists and to promote tourism, in particular, health tourism.

Other WBA initiatives include an expert dialogue on the ESG agenda involving energy companies from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa; the establishment of the School of Financial Literacy and Safety for Women in the BRICS countries at Orel Turgenev State University; the joint publication of the BRICS White Paper on Care Economy in 2024; the Empower Her Health project initiated by South Africa and aimed at prioritising women’s health, urging women to make preventive healthcare a priority, opening the online BRICS Consultation on Women’s Health, and exchanging experience in this field.

Galina Karelova mentioned two initiatives of the Russian Chapter launched on the sidelines of the Shaping the Future Together forum — the Unified Digital Platform and the BRICS Best Women's Startups Contest held in several categories.

The Chair of the Eurasian Women's Forum Council reminded the audience that over 200 various events would be held at different levels during Russia’s BRICS Chairmanship in 2024. They include the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, where the BRICS WBA will hold a special session, and the first BRICS Women's Forum, which will be held on the sidelines of the Fourth Eurasian Women’s Forum in September 2024. The Senator said that its programme included a meeting of ministers responsible for women’s affairs and a presentation of initiatives aimed at strengthening ties on issues on the women’s agenda.

“Women’s cooperation between BRICS countries opens up new horizons and new spheres of interaction as well as our countries’ progress. It is mutually beneficial and fruitful. I am sure that these activities will be supported by our societies and the BRICS countries’ leaderships, which will make our cooperation even more effective,” Galina Karelova pointed out.