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Regular version of the site


Online, duration: 3 days

Working language

Russian and English with simultaneous translation


Zoom, HSE.Live

About the Forum

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Institute for Agrarian Studies of the National Research University Higher School of Economics organize an International Forum "Food Policy, Rural Development and Gender Equality in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia: current trends and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic".  


During three virtual sessions, participants (policy-makers, practitioners, civil society organizations including academia and independent experts, as well as a private sector, farmers and farmer organizations) will discuss current issues in agriculture and food systems policies and their connection to gender inequalities in rural areas in the region, with focus on challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also promising practices that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and propose solutions for moving towards transformative and inclusive food systems.


The webinars are expected to contribute to a regional policy dialogue on the issues pertaining to sustainability of food systems in the region, rural youth and women, through creation of a broad expert platform, including representatives of international organizations, government bodies, academic and business communities, farmers and social organizations from Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.  


Summary of the discussions and recommendations will be published in English and Russian, and shared with the governments of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia for better informed socially inclusive and gender-responsive policies for agricultural and rural development. The outcomes of the discussions will feed into the on-going FAO-led Regional Dialogue and its concluding event to be held in May 2021, as well as will be communicated to the UN Systems Summit via the Dialogues Gateway.



  • March 10
  • March 12
  • March 17

13:00 – 15:00 CET

Gender Responsive Agricultural аnd Food Systems Policies: Status аnd Prospects in Europe аnd Central Asia Region

The webinar is part of the Regional Dialogue in the preparation for the UN Food Systems Summit

Recording of broadcast


Evgenia Serova

Director for Agricultural Policy of HSE

Introductory Statement

Vladimir Rakhmanin

FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia

Keynote Speakers

Susan Kaaria

Senior Gender Officer, Inclusive Rural Transformation and Gender Equity, FAO

Topic: “Gender and food security issues: cases from global practices”
Marija Babovic

Professor, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade and SeCons Development Initiative Group

Topic "Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Accessibility of Rural Women to Employment and Assets"
Anna Kanshieva

Programme Manager for Asia & Europe, Slow Food International

Topic: "The Potential of Grassroot Women's Groups to Support the Transition to Sustainable Food Systems"
Mavzuna Karimova

Head of the Department of Economic Theory and Foreign Economic Relations, Institute of Economics and Demography, Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan

Topic: "The Problems of Development of Women’s Entrepreneurship in Rural Areas of Tajikistan"
Lyubov Ovchintseva

Leading Research Fellow Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration

Topic: "Russian Agri-food Policy and Rural Development in Focus of Women’s Gender Interests"
Roman Romashkin

Deputy Director of the Eurasian Center for Food Security, Lomonosov Moscow State University

Topic: "Agri-food Policies and Agricultural Development in Central Asia and the South Caucasus: Gender Issues, Achievements and Prospects"

Webinar’s Reporter

Ekaterina Galaktionova

Expert, Department of Agrarian Markets

11:00-13:30 CET

Rural Women, Youth and Economic Opportunities: Cases from Europe and Central Asia to Accelerate the Achievement of the SDGS

Side event with the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development in the UNECE Region 2021

Recording of broadcast


Alexey Naumov

Head of Department for Rural Development Studies, Institute for Agrarian Studies

Introductory Statement

Raimund Jehle

FAO Regional Programme Leader for Europe and Central Asia

Keynote Speakers

Leonid M. Grigoryev

Professor, Academic Supervisor, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Topic: "Sustainable Development Goals: Theory and Reality"
Raushan Sarsenbaeva

President of the Association of Business Women of Kazakhstan, Member of the National Commission for Women and Family – Demographic Policy under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Topic: "Rural Women Doing Business in Kazakhstan"
Ilkay Unay Gailhard

Researcher, Department of the Structural Development of Farms and Rural Areas, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO)

Topic: "Becoming a Young Farmer: Farming as a Career Option?"
Nozilakhon Mukhamedova

Professor, Department of Agricultural Policy and Market Research, Justus Liebig University Giessen

Topic: "A Study of Women’s Role in Irrigated Agriculture: Southern Tajikistan"
Elena Myakotnikova

Corporate Director, Agency for Strategic Initiatives

Topic: "Experience of the Agency of Strategic Initiatives (Russia) in promotion and development of potential of women and youth"
Ramona Duminicioiu

peasant from Romania, delegate of the European Coordination Via Campesina, Member of the coordination committee of the Civil Society Mechanism for relations to the UN Committee on World Food Security

Topic: "Challenges that hold off the progress of rural women’s economic empowerment - in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Solutions and initiatives from the ground"

Webinar’s Reporter

Yulia Nikulina

Research Fellow, Agrarian Policy Department

11:00-13:30 CET

Leaving No One Behind: Gender Inclusion in Education and Professional Training for Rural Economy of Knowledge

Recording of broadcast


Nadezhda Orlova

Head of Department for Economics of Innovation in Agriculture

Introductory Statement

Irina Donnik

Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Keynote Speakers

Hajnalka Petrics

Programme Officer (Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment), FAO, Global Coordinator, EU-funded United Nations Rome-based Agencies (RBAs) Joint Programme on Gender Transformative Approaches for Food Security and Nutrition

Elena Polyakova

Government & Industry Affairs Lead, Central & Eastern Europe, Corteva Agriscience

Topic: "Social Initiatives of Corteva Agriscience in Russia"
Uktam Umurzakov

Professor, Chairman of the Republican Council for Higher Education of Uzbekistan, Rector of the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers

Topic: "Agriculture 4.0 - Shaping the future of the agro-industrial complex in Uzbekistan through education, science and innovation"
Tamar Sanikidze

Agriculture and Farming Specialist, United Nations Development Programme in Georgia

Topic: "Access to Education for Women and Capacity-building in Georgia's Agriculture"
Margit Batthyany-Schmidt

President, Union of Hungarian Women

Topic: "Innovative and Proactive Solutions by a Hungarian Women Related NGO, the Union of Hungarian Women (UHW), to the Unexpected COVID-19 Pandemia"


Natalia Derkanosova

Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, Peter the Great Voronezh Agrarian University

Svetlana Maltseva

Research Professor, HSE Tikhonov Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics

Evgeny Rudoy

Rector, Novosibirsk State Agrarian University

Elena Boyko

Rector, State Agrarian University of the Northern Trans-Urals

Bahromdzhon R. Ahmadov

Vice-Rector for Science and Innovation, Tajik Agrarian University named Shirinsho Shotemur

Webinar’s Reporter

Sadaf Abdolova

Expert, Department for Economics of Innovation in Agriculture


Project coordinators

Dono Abdurazakova

Senior Gender and Social Protection Adviser, FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Anna Jenderedjian

Gender and Social Protection Specialist, FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Evgenia V. Serova

Director for Agricultural Policy

Alexey Naumov

Head of the Department for Rural Development Studies

Nadezhda Orlova

Head of the Department for Economics of Innovation in Agriculture

Renata Yanbykh

Head of the Agrarian Policy Department

Valeria Arefieva

Expert at the Degree Programmes Sector

Sadaf Abdolova

Expert at the Department for Economics of Innovation in Agriculture


For additional information please use:


Useful Materials

Recordings of broadcasts

Gender Responsive Agricultural аnd Food Systems Policies: Status аnd Prospects in Europe аnd Central Asia Region

for March 10th

Rural Women, Youth and Economic Opportunities: Cases from Europe and Central Asia to Accelerate the Achievement of the SDGS

for March 12th

Leaving No One Behind: Gender Inclusion in Education and Professional Training for Rural Economy of Knowledge

for March 17th