On 14 October 2021, at the initiative of India, an SCO seminar was held, via video conference, on the role of women in the armed forces.
The seminar was attended by representatives of the defence departments of the SCO member states, the SCO Secretariat and the SCO RATS, as well as experts from research communities of the SCO family countries.
SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov sent a message of greeting to the participants of the event, which was read out by SCO Deputy Secretary-General Muratbek Azymbakiev.
Vladimir Norov noted that over the 20 years of SCO activity, the member states, while rigorously pursuing the strategic goals of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, have made significant progress in achieving gender equality and enhancing the role of women in socioeconomic development.
In particular, he underscored that the SCO member states have built their national institutional and legal foundations for gender equality, and have adopted appropriate national strategies, programmes and action plans.
The SCO Secretary-General emphasised that women in the SCO countries are active in almost all spheres now, including the armed forces, and, accordingly, it is difficult to imagine the development of the SCO countries without their constructive contribution.
"The SCO member states will further develop defence cooperation, including on training and enhancing the capabilities of the armed forces of each nation, to strengthen confidence-building measures, ensure peace and regional stability, and counter security challenges and threats.
"Joint projects related to gender equality, including in the defence ministries, are to lead to a new level of enhancing the role of women in addressing important aspects of achieving peace, stability and sustainable development of the SCO," Vladimir Norov added.
In conclusion, he expressed the hope that the proposals and initiatives put forward at the seminar for the further development of this area of cooperation would be incorporated in the preparation of the relevant SCO documents.