Forum for active women of Belarus


Since 2011 more than 300 young Belarusians have received scholarships to go studying at universities across Europe. The scholarships were granted as part of the OESS and ESSYB higher education programmes funded by the European Union. Kseniya Shvedova was one of the students who received OESS scholarship and few years later ESSYB scholarship was granted to Maria Strigunova.

Maria Strigunova and Kseniya Shvedova met during one of the Alumni events and found that they share the same values about the women’s role in a today’s society. They say that throughout their academic and professional life, they have encountered various situations where women were put in challenging situations to achieve the same recognition, receive the same level of responsibility and equally participate in the decision-making process as men do.

Therefore, Maria and Kseniya started to work on a project named “FEMInominal”. The goal of the project was to organise an International Forum inviting successful women leaders to share their personal and professional experiences within the global arena. Maria applied for ESSYB Small Grants Programme, and Kseniya raised additional funding through BRG's Women in Leadership network and together they implemented the idea.

On 22nd of June the event gathered representatives from the international organisations, private sector, local institutions, arts and cultural foundations, academia and youth organisations. The objective was to amplify the voice of women across all fields and sectors, showcasing success stories and inspiring initiatives.

“FEMInominal” Forum welcomed well-established professionals as well as women who are at the early stage of their life-learning process. Successful and inspiring speakers from both Belarus and abroad unlocked the concept of “global interconnectedness”, demonstrating how Belarusian women can connect with the global community, learn from international experience and activate local communities.

“FEMInominal” Forum was co-funded by the Berkley Research Group

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