Karelova Galina Nikolaevna
First Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Development of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the Women's Issues Commission by the Federation Council
"First of all we should try to change
woman's consciousness concerning herself."
Working in the building groups (stroyotryad) during the student time determined the life strategy for Galina Karelova. After she worked as cook for two years (1968-1069) in the stroyotryad "Legenda", she was appointed commissar of the zonal students' building group. As Karelova says, if the definition of "social worker" at that time existed, she would have been called the chief social worker of the zonal student building-group, which included 12-16 line groups. During the post-graduate study, she took this important position for four times. Moreover, when she was 21 years old she received two government awards and was delegate of the 1st Student Conference of the USSR.
After graduating from the well-known Ural Polytechnic Institute, department of engineering and economy, she started her post-graduate studies and in the age of 27, she made her Ph.D. thesis nearly at the same time when she gave birth to her son.
To that time, the idea of creation of Youth Housing Estates (MZhK) at example of young citizens of Kaliningrad in Moscow region occurred to the minds of young people in USSR. Then the former participants of the student building groups of Sverdlovsk made up their minds to create a social program on building of MZhK in their town. Galina Karelova was appointed to lead this program. She was in charge of development and realization. Simultaneously with her educational and scientific work, she spent 13 years of her life to create and organize the MZhK "Komsomolsky". Galina Karelina was well known in the USSR at the time of MZhK-boom. She published several books about MZhK experience; she was the soul of the MZhK movement. Moreover, her MZhK proposed her as candidate to People's Deputies of the USSR. The point was not to win but to work through one more social technology - the technology of elections. "Self-experiment" undoubtedly did not work. As it should be at those years, a workingman won. However, the experience of participation in the elections proved to be not useless. She wanted to make it again and to win. The next three elections (elections to the Regional Council of People's Deputies, to the Council of the Federation and to the State Duma) have been accomplished with a big success. The movement line was as follows: Deputy of the Regional Council of People's Deputies - Vice Chairman of the same regional Coucil - Chairman of the Committee for social policy of the Council of the Russian Federation - Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation. However, behind all this superficial demonstration of success many problems and even losses were hidden. For example, the regional Council was dissolved in the well-known time because of the decision of declaration of the Ural Republic. The first elective Council of the Federation was replaced by the new appointive one. Repeatedly she had to come up against new obstacles and to adapt to new conditions. Galina Karelova says that the main difficulty was not to assimilate with a new niche but to leave the old one where she could not do much because of the shortage of time.
She left the State Duma RF after receiving an offer from the Government to work in the Russian Ministry of Labour. She was engaged with the subject of activities (children, family, women), its pragmatism. The 13-year habit of working in the executive system prevailed. Now she has been working as Vice Minister already for four years. She gave a powerful incentive to development of the system of social care institutions for family, women and children. She is paying special attention to the material equipment, personnel training and implementation of new technologies for rehabilitation centers for disabled children and social orphanages for homeless and neglected children. She practically restored the system of summer camps, children's recovery and employment. Since 1997 she intensified the recovery campaign, and 2000 became the year of the record: 9 millions of children went for summer holidays which was higher by 2 millions children in 1999. She participated in the opening in Russia of the branch office of the UNICEF. In spite of all obstacles she started and working on the pilot project of the creating of the institute of children's rights representatives in the regions. She is actively developing the system of partnership between power institutions and non-governmental organizations. Especially she is supporting women's public organizations. When there were no other ways to support women at the elections, she joined the movement "Women of Russia". She reviewed the lessons of MZhK: to learn elections' technologies on your own experience. Moreover, this practical way can demonstrate clearly all the perspectives and possibilities of women's participation in the elections and significance of women's promotion by the state. Galina Karelova herself did everything possible to promote women. Now women direct three of her subordinate structure departments. And everybody knows that she is responsible for their failures in corpore.
She is not a stranger or a newcomer in the women's movement. During 5 years she was the leader of the Ural Women's Association. These organizations received in 1997 in Ekaterinbug the first ladies of Russia and USA. Galina Karelova conducted this historical meeting by herself. In 2000, the Confederation of businesswomen of Russia celebrated its 6th anniversary. Galina Karelova has been its permanent leader during all these years.
However, the main thing is, that she rendering help and assistance to the concrete people, first to families and children, like she did when she was with MZhK.
She is a very active woman and it is hard to understand how one person cannot only accumulate a great number of ideas and initiatives but to participate in their implementation as well. She often travels to regions. Very communicative.
Ph. D. in Economics. Doctor of Sociology. Awarded with the Honour Order.
She is being in progress of such problems, as social protection of elder people, war veterans, reserved officers; social and demography problems, development of the public social services.