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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Kessel Fall Event

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Gender, Poverty and Welfare in Contemporary Russia

Individuals with a disability who need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event, please contact at 507-389-2721 (V), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTY) at least 5 days prior to the event. This document is available in alternative format to individuals with disabilities by calling the above numbers


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Dr Esuna Dugarova is a Policy Specialist at the United Nations Development Programme in New York where she specializes in poverty, gender and social protection issues in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, as well as broader sustainable development issues globally. Previously, she worked as a Research Fellow at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development in Geneva, as an evaluator at the European Commission, as a consultant at the World Bank, and as a research associate at London School of Economics. Originally from the Republic of Buryatia in Russia, Esuna holds a PhD degree in Asian Studies from Cambridge University. She is fluent in Russian, English, Chinese and French, and also speaks Spanish and Burmese.


Despite progress made in reducing poverty over the past decades in Russia, a recent economic slump hampered growth prospects in the country and led to a reversal in the poverty reduction trend. To address growing poverty and unemployment more effectively, the government introduced a range of active labour market programmes aimed at enhancing productive employment and activating labour potential, including among women. In particular, the government provided support to women through the development of public childcare, provision of professional training and social benefits. Although these measures produced some positive results, they have not managed to address the underlying causes of poverty, nor have they transformed the prevailing patriarchal power structures. The proposed talk will provide insights into the complex nature of poverty, welfare and gender relations in contemporary Russia based on the examination of recent national policy developments.

Selected papers:

Dugarova, E. Forthcoming. Gender equality as an accelerator for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Research Paper. New York: United Nations Development Programme.

Dugarova, E. 2016a. The Family in a New Social Contract: The Case of Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Research Paper. Geneva: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.

Dugarova, E. 2016b. Implementing SDG 1: poverty eradication through family support policies and social protection measures in transition countries. Paper prepared for Expert Group Meeting “Family policies and the 2030 Agenda”. New York: United Nations.

Dugarova, E. 2016c. A new social protection model in the CIS countries: from social assistance to labour activation. International Symposium “Social protection systems”, Bonn: GIZ.

Dugarova, E. 2015. Social inclusion, poverty eradication and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Working Paper. Geneva: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.