On 10 June 2021, the Third SCO Women's Forum was held in Dushanbe in the hybrid format within the framework of Tajikistan's Presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
The forum brought together prominent politicians, diplomats, people working in the field of culture and science, the heads of public organisations and representatives of SCO countries' businesses.
In his video address, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov wholeheartedly welcomed the participants and pointed out that the SCO Women's Forum was a major factor of the organisation's development as a respected member of international cooperation and greatly contributed to the promotion of the ideals of gender equality.
The SCO Secretary-General noted that during the 20 years since the establishment of the SCO its member states had come a long way in the sphere of gender equality and in enhancing the role of women in the socioeconomic development of their countries. More specifically, the SCO countries have created the framework of the national legislation on gender equality, adopted relevant national programmes, as well as ratified and are implementing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and other international documents on human, women's and children's rights.
"The development in the SCO space has become unthinkable without the creative contribution made by our dear women," Vladimir Norov said.
He pointed out that the forum was a unique platform for exchanging experience and for strengthening interaction between the women of the SCO countries. In this context, he emphasised the importance of energetically working together during the pandemic to expand women's rights and opportunities to engage in business and contribute to the SCO countries' economic progress.
During the forum's panel sessions, the participants exchanged views on current issues, specifically:
— the institutes of strengthening the women's role in the SCO countries;
— the improvement of interaction and cooperation on gender topics within the framework of the SCO;
— the expansion of women's rights and opportunities in entrepreneurship;
— the results of efforts to combat all forms of violence against women and girls in the family and society, the exchange of successful practices and experience in this sphere, and the coordination of further priorities;
— the consolidation of women's efforts against global and regional challenges.
A constructive and substantive discussion of these topics added a creative element and helped to map out new spheres of cooperation in ensuring gender equality.
At the end of the forum, the participants expressed a common opinion on the importance of the further consolidation of cooperation on gender issues and creating a permanent SCO cooperation mechanism for exchanging experience, promoting women's initiatives and involving women more energetically in the activities of the SCO.
In their Moscow Declaration, adopted on 10 November 2020, the SCO Heads of State noted the importance of vigorous efforts to support women's involvement in politics, the economy and the civil, social and other areas. They believe it is important that women regularly hold forums, congresses and meetings as part of the SCO events.