Among the women taking part were the mothers of the laureates of the Presidential Prize in Science and Technology, well-known performers and athletes, and women representing mining and farming families that have been in these professions for generations.
Also taking part in the meeting were the mothers of military servicemen and Heroes of the Russian Federation Sergei Ashikhmin, Mark Yevtyukhin, and Sergei Solnechnikov, who all three gave their own lives to save the lives of others.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I decided to meet in this format this year, and with your help and support congratulate all of Russia’s women on the March 8 holiday. This is not just a celebration of women in our eyes, but is also associated with spring, new life and renewal.
It is not by chance that we have invited to the Kremlin today women who gave our country children who have gone on to bring glory and strength to Russia, our culture, education, science, sports, and arts. Both parents play a big part in a child’s family upbringing of course, but it is nonetheless the mother, the woman, who lays the foundations of this upbringing.
A well-known expression says, “to drink it in with your mother’s milk.” The sense of individual self-awareness and first skills in interacting with the world around us are things we learn from women. We have many fine words about mothers and it is not by chance that we say that “nothing is more sacred than a mother,” and that we compare our mothers to our homeland. These are very close concepts.
We have done much over these last years to strengthen the institutions of motherhood and childhood. We see that women have responded to these signals too and the birth rate has increased substantially. We now have stable natural population growth for the first time in 20 years. We know too that no matter how much men help in the home, the main burden still falls on the woman. This includes the sleepless nights, the housework, and at the same time thinking about one’s own future professional activity.
We probably need to make a lot more effort yet to not just continue what we began over these past years but also strengthen this trend. But in the end, it is still the woman who is the main decision maker in the family when it comes to choosing whether or not to have a child. And if we see these positive shifts in our demographic trends today, we can above all say thank you to our women.
Aside from everything else, our women in most cases are also professionally active in industry, science, education, healthcare, and in the social sector, and produce excellent results.
I want to take this occasion to congratulate you and in your persons congratulate all women for your efforts to strengthen our country and for what you are doing to bring up our children and our young people too. The example women set is very important and I want to thank you and congratulate you on this March 8 holiday.