International Forum of women leaders

International Forum of women leaders took place on November 27, 2019 at Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno. The event brought together more than 90 representatives of the Republic of Belarus, Finland, France, Slovenia, Sweden, Serbia, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania and Russia.

The event was organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (hereinafter – the OSCE/ ODIHR) together with the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Republic of Belarus and the Council of Europe with the support of the Council of Europe Information Point in Minsk.

This year the International Forum was held for the third time in Belarus and for the first time in the region. The main purpose of the Forum was to discuss such issues as promoting gender equality, women's leadership and women's political participation at the local level through capacity-building and networking among women.

The event was attended by representatives of state bodies, business, public associations, parliamentarians, chairpersons and specialists of international organizations.

The Forum program included three thematic sessions. The first session "Promoting women's political participation at the local level" was covered by the OSCE / ODIHR and the Council of Europe and included a discussion of obstacles faced by women in politics, the experience of Belarus and foreign countries, and examples of best practices that support women's participation in politics at the local level. The second session "Balance between work and personal life: myth or reality?" was covered by the United Nations Population Fund in Belarus and included a review of national and international experience in promoting gender- and family-oriented jobs; motherhood as a corporate value for employers; issues of developing family-oriented infrastructure and the social environment as a driving force for promoting gender equality and empowering women in social and family spheres. The third session "The role of universities in strengthening women's leadership at the local level" was covered by Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno and included a discussion of various opportunities provided by universities in the training of women leaders.