Posted on February 25, 2004
The PBN Company
The regional conference “Women Leadership: a Condition for the Development and Prosperity of Modern Russian Society. The Perspective, Opinion, and Experience of Women Leaders in Siberia” was held in Tomsk.
The Open World Leadership Center, part of the Washington-based program, is organizing the conference together with the Russian representative office of the Project Harmony Inc, a non-profit organization. The Tomsk authorities and the Tomsk region administration are also supporters of the event.
Alumni of the Open World Program participated in the conference.
Open World is the only exchange program founded by the U.S. Congress, which directly manages the program. Since the program began in 1999, about 8000 Russian specialists in government service, business and culture have been able to visit the United States and establish professional contacts with their American colleagues.
Irina Rukina, member of the presidium of the national council of the Zhizn Russian party, head of the Moscow division of the Zhizn party and chairwoman of the Moscow City Duma’s committee on economic policy, toldhttp://REGIONS.RU about the conference in more detail:
“Representatives of public organizations from nine Siberian regions, Moscow, Povolzhye and other regions participated in the meeting. As the head of the Moscow division of the Zhizn party, I can say that our exchange was very fruitful and interesting. As a matter of fact, the Zhizn party was formed from non-governmental organizations. The central issues at the conference were relations between women and society, and women's leadership. It turned out that in fact there are many difficulties. Conference participants expressed concerns that every year the quantity of women in legislative bodies decreases. For example, all the deputies in the Tomsk Legislative Assembly are men.
I am convinced that an effectively functioning parliament should consist of not less than 30 percent women, or, ideally, not less than 50 percent women. Currently, there is tendency toward the reverse, which I think it is a shame.
After the meeting, conference participants signed an address to the Russian President. The address states these issues that are extremely vital for the contemporary Russian society and contains a request for the president to bring under his control the passing of the federal law on gender equality in the second reading and its further enforcement.”
In conclusion, Irina Rukina said that it is necessary to introduce quotas for equal access to seats in legislative agencies for men and women; namely, the parliament should consist of not more than 60 percent men or 60 percent women.
[Reprinted with Permission]