Angara - Baikal Region Women's Union
Office 111
14 Kurchatova
Irkutsk 6640374

Tel:  (39-52) 46-55-09
Fax:  (39-52) 39-78-35

Hundreds of rivers and streams flow into Lake Baikal. 
Only one flows out:  The Angara River, which starts 
near the southwestern tip - the bottom - of the lake, 
flows west through Irkutsk, and then works its way 
northward to the Arctic.


Angara Information:
Angara provides a forum for the women of greater Baikal Region.  Not only is Angara involved in disseminating information which may help Russian women in their struggle to be recognized on equal terms with their male counterparts, Angara also serves to coordinate over 30 women's groups, their activities and programs, throughout the region.  

NMR Visit with Executive Commitee
July 9, 1999
    Albina Shjrobokova
    Professor of Economics
    Svetlana Uralova
Angara provides services for the women and girls of Irkutsk directly.  Three programs address the needs of the highest risk groups of the metropolitan region.  Angara has personnel on-duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to address calls of help and provide shelter and assistance to women and children who are victims of domestic violence.  There is a special program to address the needs of the elderly (according to Professor Shjrobokova, life expenctancy for Russian women is 66 years, whereas for men it is only 52).  Finally, Angara has established a crisis center with staff to answer the phone or handle walk-ins.  This service is assisted by two volunteers who work, for the most part, pro-bono, a legal advisor and a registered psychologist.  The crisis center handles cases of substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, child abuse, and international trafficking (Turkey and the Middle East, evidentally, are the most common destinations for those abducted or conned by promises of good, lucrative jobs overseas).

Angara accepts donations from many sources both within and from outside Russia.  It was established with a five-year grant from the Ford Foundation.  The annual operating budget is ~$500,000US.

Among its activities are the following:

  • Monthly forums and seminars bringing concerned women together on issues they may be facing or addressing.
  • School and class visits to heighten awareness and/or interest in local and national social issues.
  • A weekly publication of local events and news items - this is disseminated from a central office/publisher in Moscow which is a clearing house for similar groups throughout Russia ("Independent Woman's Forum"). 
  • Networking with other women's groups worldwide.

  • 2000 Forum
    Angara is currently gearing up for the 2000 Forum, "Women for the Survival of the Planet."  Angara will host the forum in Irkutsk from 7-12 July, 2000.  

    This international forum, held on the shore of Lake Baikal, is anticipated to draw over 1,000 visitors from all over the world.  Angara will make arrangements for hospitality according to each visitor or group's specific needs or desires (i.e., hotel stays, accommodations in dorms, or homestays with local families).  Registration for the forum is expected to be about $100 US.

    Forum 2000 will present influential Russian women from governmental and non-governmental agencies as its key speakers.  However, there will be guest speakers from abroad, too.  In fact, Angara will gladly entertain nominations and applications from overseas for women and men who would like to join the forum as guest speakers.  (Speakers will have to find their own funding/financing for their costs; Angara will write a letter of invitation and support to any whose applications are accepted.

    Participants and attendees can expect seminars on a broad range of topics.  There will be workshops where participants will have a chance to work with and share ideas with people from other countries.  There will be sessions on leadership and empowerment.  A contingent from Washington State will return to continue the very popular sessions entiled "Women of Vision."  There will be cultural shows and programs including programs of music and dance from throughout Russia and abroad.  

    Participants are encouraged to bring their children as there will be an international children's camp run concurrently on the shores of Lake Baikal.  Themes explored at Forum 2000 will be mirrored at the children's camp in an attempt to start young, fertile minds exploring the issues and incorporate the ideas and energies the young can contribute.  In the words of Svetlana Uralova, "We want to mine the youth - Russian and foreign - for they have insights and the ability to ask questions that might lead us all toward better answers."

    Angara is also accepting nominations for a Forum 2000 award to be presented to a woman who has distinguished herself or a project(s) by her energy and works aimed at the development and advancement of women's rights and political, social, economic empowerment locally, nationally, regionally, or globally.

    Home page