Written by Sofia Brambilla, Chairwoman IWDU, Argentina
Having the opportunity to participate in major international events that make a difference is something that rarely comes along, and the event “Empowering Women and Girls in the Digital Age: The Role of Women Parliamentarians”, organized by the International Women’s Democratic Union (IWDU) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) in the framework of the 67th Commission on the Status of Women in New York City, was one of them.
As an Argentinean Member of Parliament and President of the IWDU, I had the great honour to participate in this exceptional program along with women parliamentarians from different political parties affiliated with the IWDU from all over the world. Sheila Bartels (Ghana), Joêlle Bou Abboud (Lebanon), Mariia Ionova (Ukraine), Eva Maydell (Bulgaria), Orjola Pampuri (Albania), Dolga Sainkhuu (Mongolia), and Tina Mercep (Executive Director of the IDU) were some of the outstanding women with whom I was able to share and discuss experiences. Meeting women leaders and parliamentarians from different countries, with diverse backgrounds and experiences, but with the understanding and experience of gender barriers in our political careers and in the realities of our countries, was an enriching experience of dialogue and learning.
During the event, we had the opportunity to attend various talks on the importance of digital inclusion and gender equality. We met with prominent speakers such as Dulcie Leimbach, editor of PassBlue, who spoke about monitoring women’s rights and gender equality at the UN; Ulrika Modéer, UN Under-Secretary-General and Director of the Office of External Relations and Advocacy at the United Nations Development Program, who spoke about gender equality as a driver of sustainable economic growth and development; and Pedro Conceição, Director of the Human Development Report Office at UNDP, who spoke about advancing human development in a new era of uncertainty.
In addition, we had the opportunity to share a reception and an exchange of ideas with Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and friends, academics, and alumni of KAS.
I would especially like to thank the KAS NY team, Andrea E. Ostheimer, Teresa Val, and Ariane Preusch, for organizing everything flawlessly. All the lectures and presentations were informative, inspiring and enlightening.
As women parliamentarians, I believe our role is critical in working on policies that empower women and girls in the digital age. I am determined to continue advocating for gender equality and fighting for our rights as women politicians. Making the issue visible, caring, and concerned, as we did during the event and continue to do now, is the starting point to continue paving the way for more and more women to decide to get involved in politics, but to do so in a safe way.
This is where such women’s spaces, like the one kindly provided by allied organizations such as KAS and IDU, bring together women with the same interests and objectives, and becomes essential to strengthen our democracies. These meetings allow us to create communities among us, where we can support and encourage each other with sisterhood in this arduous but beautiful path that is political life.
I couldn’t be prouder to be working with conviction alongside so many committed women on something as important as #MoreWomenBetterPolitics. I am sure that together we can make a difference and create a more just and equal world for all women and girls. Thank you!