Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens invited women leaders and change makers from international organizations and NGOs in Austria to the Centre’s first breakfast hub. The breakfast hub was intended to create a network among like-minded people and to seek for ways to empower women and to reach gender equality, also in the light of Sustainable Development Goal 5 of the United Nations.
The CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre Monika Froehler gave welcome remarks and a brief overview of the Centre´s activities. She was followed by two keynote speakers on “women empowerment”, Mrs. Désirée Schweitzer, the President of the UN Women National Committee Austria and the Director General of the Department for International Development at the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mrs. Lilly Sucharipa, the former President of the UN Women National Committee Austria.
Schweitzer highlighted how many women and girls are experiencing domestic violence and sexual harassment as well as forced childhood marriage.
Furthermore, she argued that “women provide 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work than men. Women still hold a mere 23.7% of parliamentry seats” and that “in the private sector, women globally occupy less than a third of senior and middle-management positions.” Schweitzer urged that “we have to work together to change this step by step.”
Sucharipa also emphasized that “not only the SDG 5, but all the other SDGs are important in connection with lives of women.” “If it is clean water or affordable energy; if it is health or economic empowerment, extremely important, and the most important education,” she said that “all these goals play into women’s lives and have to be considered when you talk about women.”
During the networking and brainstorming session, the participants actively shared the challenges and ideas for women empowerment in all national, regional, and global levels and how the solutions can be connected to the concept of global citizenship.