On October 30, a round table entitled, “New Paradigm of Sustainable Demographic Development: Key Elements” took place in Minsk.
The event was supported by the National Coordinator on Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals as part of the UNDP/UNICEF/UNFPA project “Support of Control Structure Operation to Manage Sustainable Development Goals Implementation in the Republic of Belarus.”
One of the round table goals was to discuss and develop the key elements of the position of the Republic of Belarus at the high-level conference, which will be conducted on November 12-14, 2019 in Nairobi (Kenya) to advance the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development Program of Action.
Speaking to the round table participants National Coordinator on Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals Marianna Shchetkina underlined that the demographic development issues go hand in hand with Sustainable Development Goals.
“Sustainable development implies population coverage, necessity to engage the public at large, in particular, the young people,” said the National Coordinator on Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals.
UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki in her speech stated that Belarus is now preparing itself for the world-class event, which will determine how to address the demographic issues for many years to come.
She reminded that necessity of cross-cutting integration of gender equality issues in various national programs and policies is both reflected in the National Action Plan for Gender Equality until 2020 and in the outcome document of the First Forum on Sustainable Development.
Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki emphasized the pro-active social attitude of the private sector, which acts as UN/UNFPA partner to contribute to better access of the disabled women to reproductive health services.
She urged to admit the value of domestic unpaid work of women and increase participation of men in child care and upbringing. According to Ms. Kazana-Wisniowiecki, split of house-keeping responsibilities is not only important for equality of rights of partners in families, but also plays an important role in strengthening the emotional bonds of fathers and children and improves men’s quality of life.
In course of the first session on key elements of sustainable demographic development in the Republic of Belarus, the representative of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection surveyed the prospective lines of development of the state population policy and spoke about gender and generation aspects of family roles.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) presented a concept of parent-friendly jobs: how real it is to keep balance of job and family, and what management decisions can be taken to support practical implementation of such a strategy. In course of the first session, the participants were also introduced to the results of the research of population’s attitude to the seniors and perception of aging phenomenon conducted by SATIO Company with UNFPA support.
In course of the second session “Women’s Health and Well-Being: Growth Zones” the Ministry of Healthcare of Belarus presented the state healthcare policy in terms of female health. Following the report the healthy maternity strategy of the Republican Research and Practical Centre “Mother and Child” was presented.
As part of the round table, medical specialists and representatives of the Republic Association of Wheelchair Users informed about access of the disabled women to reproductive health services and presented a new project “Byazmezhnaya” allowing for equal conditions for all women, due to which the disabled girls will be able to visit gynaecologists without impediment and take care of their health.
Representatives of interested groups acting in the sphere of national gender policy implementation, e.g. representatives of state bodies, academia, interested non-governmental associations and international organizations, and also SDG youth ambassadors took part in the event.