Virtual Roundtable “Voices of Hope: Realities of Afghan Women”

On Wednesday 25 May 5 PM CEST (8:30 PM AFT), the Ban Ki-moon Centre (BKMC) and its Afghan fellows from the Global Citizen Women Empowerment Program hosted a virtual roundtable “Voices of Hope: Realities of Afghan Women” to highlight the activism of Afghan women on the ground. 

International Gender Champions Her Excellency Manizha Bakhtari, Ambassador of Afghanistan to Vienna, and BKMC CEO Monika Froehler spotlighted Afghan women as resilient and active agents of change fighting for sustainable peace.

“The spirit of Afghan women will never die”  – H.E. Manizha Bakhtari

 

Both iterated the risks to civil society leaders, activists, and reporters, especially women, and their shrinking involvement in public life due to the Taliban’s fundamentalist hardliner policies. Their resistance is moving more and more off the streets and onto social media and smaller underground movements.

“We are currently experiencing a new generation of [ Afghan women] that is more enthusiastic and more focused.”  – Gender and Feminist Researcher at the McMaster University of Canada, Executive Director of the Immigrant Culture and Art Association (ICAA), and former Law Professor at Kabul University Marufa Shinware

With their knowledge and independence gained over the last 20 years, Afghan women are increasingly trying to transform the system they are living in and resisting the Taliban’s oppression. They also question the international community’s silence and condemn global misbelief in a new and more liberal Taliban regime. 

Increased solidarity is needed to fight for democracy, human rights, and peace. 

Watch the recording of our Roundtable via YouTube. 

Join us for our Virtual Roundtable “Voices of Hope: Realities of Afghan Women”

On Wednesday 25 May 5 PM CEST (8:30 PM AFT), the Ban Ki-moon Centre (BKMC) and its Afghan fellows from the Global Citizen Women Empowerment Program are organizing a virtual roundtable “Voices of Hope: Realities of Afghan Women” to provide a space for local, regional and international Afghan activists to come together and share their stories to a wide audience.

The event seeks to raise awareness about the current situation of Afghan women on the ground and spotlight local women’s activism as well as the international Afghan diaspora and their efforts in fighting for sustainable peace. The roundtable should serve to devictimize Afghanistan’s women and instead portray them as active agents of change. 

AGENDA:

Moderators: BKMC Program Officers Jessica Besch and Viola Christian

Welcome Remarks: BKMC CEO Monika Froehler

Opening Remarks: H.E. Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari, Ambassador of the Republic of Afghanistan to Vienna

Roundtable Discussion:

  • Hooria Sardar, Former Director-General of Women’s Economic Empowerment and Child Care at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in Afghanistan (MoLSA), Gender and Women Studies Expert, Women’s Rights Activist, and BKMC Global Citizen Fellow

  • Marufa Shinware, Gender and Feminist Researcher at the McMaster University of Canada, Executive Director of the Immigrant Culture and Art Association (ICAA), and former Law Professor at Kabul University

  • Dr. Zahra M., Dentist and Leader of the Afghan Women’s Unity and Solidarity Group 

BACKGROUND:

In 2019, at the margins of the first BKMC Women Empowerment Program, the Centre together with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and Women in International Security Austria organized the event “ A Long Road to Peace – Realities, Hopes, and Visions from Afghanistan”, featuring five of its stellar Afghan women fellows and activists as speakers. Processes of peace talks between the United States and the Taliban in that year gave reason for hope for a secure, democratic, and equal Afghanistan. Including women in these negotiations was deemed crucial for the achievement of sustainable peace and women’s rights. The fellows suggested solutions for their country’s challenges, talked about their own initiatives, and discussed women’s roles in decision-making and peace processes.

The developments since August 2021 and the internationally unrecognized governmental rule by the Taliban have once again crushed the rights and dignity of women and girls, spiraling into a humanitarian crisis as we speak. While some were able to leave Afghanistan on time, many are still stuck or staying voluntarily to defend their country against the authoritarian and extremist Taliban regime.

Adhering to its mission statement of empowering women and leaving no one behind, the BKMC wants to create a safe platform for its Afghan fellows to raise awareness about the situation of Afghan women and youth on the ground by jointly organizing an virtual roundtable. 

Register for the event here to join or zoom or click here to set a reminder for our live stream via YouTube. 

Closing Ceremony – Online Executive Training “Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation”

The first Online Executive Training “Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation” concluded on Thursday, 17 March 2022, celebrating six months of intensive learning amongst 30 young changemakers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Organized by the BKMC, CARE Climate and Resilience Academy, the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and supported by the Global Center on Adaptation and NORAD, the training served to strengthen the participants’ knowledge, skills and network to lead climate adaptation solutions.

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, CEO of GCA Patrick Verkooijen, and BKMC CEO Monika Froehler were amongst the high-level speakers who congratulated the young women for their remarkable accomplishments. The Closing Ceremony also introduced the outstanding work of the young leaders and their innovative ideas to #AdaptOurWorld. 

Representing her fellow trainees, Stephanie Eyram Akrumah, Valedictorian of the Online Executive Training, held an emotional speech to summarize their learning journey. Read her remarks below.

See the SDG Micro-Adaptation Project illustrations below. 

Online Executive Training "Young Women Leaders on Climate Adaptation" - SDG Micro-Project Illustrations Watch the Micro-Project Adaptation Pitches here.

Watch the Closing Ceremony below.


Valedictorian Speech by Stephanie Eyram Akrumah

“I’m grateful to be here, and I’m grateful to be speaking on behalf of all my colleagues here.

I can’t believe that it’s almost the end, actually the end, although it seems like just recently a friend shared the application of the training programme with me and to be honest, I was not sure what to expect from the training programme.

When I received the congratulatory email, I had knowledge as to what I wanted to do in climate change adaptation but honestly where I am today, my knowledge has been impacted, thus the high-level leadership that you wanted to impact in us has been impacted in me, at least.

 Honoured guest, fellow trainees, and the team that put all of this together, thank you for being here and good day, good afternoon, good evening to you, wherever you are.

I am honoured and elated to give the speech on behalf of my brilliant and inspiring fellow trainee of the Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation Executive Training program 2021/22 for women.

 I am very fortunate to have met my fellow trainees from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo and Egypt.

 It has been an exciting journey for us so far. It has not necessarily been very easy because this has been competing with other equally important things in our lives especially practical things in our jobs and our works, but this has been impactful enough for us to always be here, be punctual, be on time and try to do our best with our programme.

WE MADE IT ladies, WE MADE IT, fellow woman leaders, we have made it to the very end of our course, with glamour with grace and with a lot of wit.

I remember the days when some trainees were on the move, you could see that their cameras were on, not known to them, they were actively listening, the cameras showed that they were working with their phones on the field in some farm somewhere and trying to listen on the go.

 Thank you all, ladies, for having put in your best in the training programme and given it your best that we’ve learned from each other and we are here as it stands.

 Ladies, WE MADE IT till the end. I recount the gender sensitive adaptation solutions that we learned and realised that women have been left out of very important roles such as women farming in lands that they do not own, gender-based violence, women gap pays at the workplace, were interconnected with problems on gender sensitivity in climate adaptation and that if we needed to resolve these issues, we needed to see them as a comprehensive issue and provide a comprehensive solution.    

I remember when we were studying effective communication for adaptation, how we can Communicate effectively so we can get our message across to the respective stakeholders and involve the people that we wanted to include.

 I remember our talks on adaptation policies on local, regional and global policies that we could implement.

I remember when we said to each other some of the policies needed to tickle down to the local levels, in that, policy is very disconnected from local level practices.

I remember negotiating like a pro and understanding that we needed to communicate better and what we needed was a kind of negotiation that doesn’t leave out the other party but one that brings a solution to both parties.

I also remember that we need to be global leaders and global citizens to a complex world with complex problems and that we are capable of providing those solutions.

I have never in my life experienced a micro adaptation project and I am exceptionally sure that my fellow women leaders will agree with me that we’ve not had a practical micro adaptation project like this on an online programme that you think will be very theoretical.

I must say that from the beginning until now, we have become the very skilled high-level leaders that you wanted to create.

On moving forward after our graduation or finishing and completing this programme, that we show support to each other. We have already practiced as we have done things in teams and collaborated on different works. I recognize especially our Eagles-entrepreneurs for the green environment team when we went out of our way in the late-night calls and tried to finish our assignments on time.

I know all other groups and team members were also trying as much as possible to meet with their teams and finish assignments, even when we were late, we pleaded very actively that one thing or the other caught us up and that we wanted to finish as soon as possible so we can forward to you.

We are also very thankful for the patience of some of our leaders here, it helped us understand things we didn’t understand and when we were running late on some of these programmes, you were there to hold our hands and pull us up.

 I’m also grateful that we have learned to collaborate amongst each other and keep collaborating because of our alumni group that we’re putting together, and we intend to do certain programmes together after this programme.

I encourage that we continue to lead with the energy we have applied to the adaptation training and the strength and boldness that we need for sustainable solutions.

The executive training wanted to impact and show the ripple effects of investing in women and lead effective climate adaptation on local, regional and national levels, well from the people that I have seen and have worked with and the leaders here, I know that we are able to make this happen directly and indirectly, and we will keep impacting.

I don’t want to bore you too much, so I will here, say thank you so much to the team that put this all together, to Viola Christian, Alina Stinx, Aurélie Ceinos, Julia Németh & Maximilian Huck, Adriana Valenzuela to the team from Norad, thank you very much.

 I’m going to say a special thank you to the organizations; to the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, to  CARE Climate and Resilience Academy, to the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, to the  Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) and Norad, thank you all so much.

Thank you so much to all our trainees who are spent time and energy of their busy schedules at work and school to be here to be impacted and have given it their best.

Before I leave, I must tell you, that there is an old Chinese proverb that says that women hold up half the sky and, in our case, it is quite literal, that we literally hold up half of our climate. We need to contribute our quota as women in the world for climate change to be able to meet our global goals or 1.5 average temperatures by 2030.

Congratulations again to my fellow leaders. YES! WE DID IT, let us lead the cause in climate adaptation and resilience building. Let us transform our continent and inspire the world.

From the latest IPCC report on climate change, the climate crisis has hit Africa the hardest, and every time things hit Africa, we need leaders that will stand up to the challenge and bring solutions.

African needs you, my dear woman leader, Africa needs you and the world needs you.

Thank you and I look forward to meeting you in person, hopefully at the next COP, COP27.

Thank you very much.”

International Women’s Day: Celebrating Women who #AdaptOurWorld

Guest blog post by Gabriela Díaz Musmanni for International Women’s Day. 

The Covid crisis has exposed the depths of gender inequality on a global and disquieting scale: from a spike in gender violence, to a sharp rise in women and girl’s unpaid care work fuelled by worldwide lockdowns and school closures.

Sadly, the pandemic is just the tip of the iceberg. With a similarly pervasive scope, the climate emergency is not gender neutral either:

In spite of being hit hardest, and possessing valuable local knowledge, women have limited access to climate decision-making and leadership roles that could improve their situation and the world’s. Their inclusion is crucial to effective climate adaptation action, yet this remains a global challenge.

This year’s International Women’s Day, celebrated today, focuses on “gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” The 2022 theme encompasses the contribution of women and girls all over the world who, despite insurmountable challenges, have taken the lead in climate adaptation and mitigation action to build a more sustainable future for all of us.

With a similar goal, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC), partnered with CARE’s Climate Change and Resilience Platform, and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna to conduct a capacity-building training to elevate the leadership of young women in one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable regions, the African continent, in response to the climate crisis.

In October 2021, thirty African women between the ages of 20 and 35 embarked on the 20-week “Online Executive Training – Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation,” supported by the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.

The women, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe, were selected from a pool of more than 400 applicants based on their community leadership skills and dedication to climate action and adaptation, according to Viola Christian, Program Officer at BKMC.

The participants shared some of the training’s many benefits, including the opportunity to belong to an empowering network of women in adaptation:

“The training gave me a platform to connect with more than thirty climate champions: the instructors, resource persons and other trainees,” said Jiata Ugwah Ekele, 24, a Knowledge Management and Extension Assistant at the Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria.

Dorah Momanyi, 29, a Kenyan food scientist and founder of the Nutritious Agriculture Network, applied for the training because she finds “a strong link between local food systems, climate change and the attainment of SDGs given local food systems play a critical role in climate adaptation.”

“In a continent where youth unemployment is on the rise, climate adaptation puts a meal on my table,” she said, highlighting that, “I am a bigger and better brand as a result of this online training. Being a millennial generation influenced by everything western, I appreciate more than ever the role of local climate adaptation strategies fronted, designed, and led by women.”

Patience Sibanda, 28, a Zimbabwean student and researcher in the field of Climate Smart Agriculture and resilience building at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa, said, “I gained priceless knowledge on climate crisis management, the nexus of gender, climate vulnerability, adaptation, resilience and advocacy and the pivotal role young women play in bringing attention to climate policy architecture.”

For Mariam Elsadek, 27, a marine scientist from Egypt who works as an Environmental Communication Manager at Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association, the training created “a powerful community of women who work in the field and support and encourage each other.”

“The idea is to bring these young leaders together and elevate them to another level so that they can be more effective at driving climate adaptation solutions,” said Christian, explaining that one of the training’s main goals is that, as women, its participants will transfer the knowledge gained into more gender inclusive climate adaptation practices.

“Another big reason is that we want to connect them and give them opportunities and platforms to show the world that they have knowledge and that they already do so much for climate adaptation but their voices are often just not listened to – bringing them into opportunities where they can network with high-level decision makers. That way we ensure that they can be more effective in what they want to achieve,” Christian said.

The training, which is designed to be replicated in future, will conclude on 17th March and CEO of GCA, Professor Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, will deliver a speech during the closing ceremony.

For more information about the training “Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation” visit the BKMC or GCA website. 

Joining forces with CARE Nederland

In the second half of 2021, the Ban Ki-moon Centre and CARE Nederland – CARE Climate Change and Resilience Platform signed a Memorandum of Understanding. This new and exciting collaboration aims to strengthen women leadership to combat the effects of climate change. Stay tuned to find out how we will join our forces to advance climate adaptation.

ABOUT CARE

Founded in 1945, CARE International works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. We put women and girls in the centre because we know that we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities. CARE International works in 100 countries to assist more than 68 million people to improve basic health and education, fight hunger, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity, confront climate change and recover from disasters. More than 70% of those helped are women.

Joining forces with the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy

Starting the new year with a new partnership, the BKMC and the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy (CFFP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The collaboration aims to strengthen cooperation in the fields of gender equality, climate change, sustainable development, and global citizenship through the lens of intersectional feminism.

The two organizations have already worked together on multiple occasions throughout 2020. CFFP Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director Kristina Lunz shared her inspirational journey with BKMC CEO Monika Froehler as a guest of our #superwomen interview series. She also appeared as an expert speaker focusing on the importance of breaking down patriarchal power structures for a world free of violence against women at the “Education, Empowerment and Effective Policies: Preventing Gender-Based Violence” event hosted by the BKMC during Orange the World.

Stay tuned to learn about our joint project on climate justice, aiming to train young climate activists on advocacy and implementation strategies for effective and impactful climate action.

ABOUT CFFP

The Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy is a research, advocacy, and consulting organization based in Berlin, dedicated to promoting feminist foreign policy across the globe.

Tackling the Shadow Pandemic: Violence Against Women During COVID-19 Times

Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, data estimated that 1 in 3 women will experience violence in their lifetime. As countries went into lockdownreports on domestic violence have spiked 

Kicking off the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and as part of the global Orange the World Campaign, the BKMC hosted virtual High-Level Roundtable titled “Tackling the Shadow Pandemic – Violence against Women During COVID-19 Times on 26 November 2020. The multi-stakeholder event aimed to highlight the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on violence against women and girls (VAWG).   

Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer, Co-chairs of the BKMC, opened the BKMC’s Orange the World event showing their support in emphasizing that VAWG violates our common values as humanity.

VAWG does not only affect victims, it impacts the entire society through multiple generations. We must engage in an open dialogue and bring all stakeholders to the table. Every field, every sector must be involved. – Ban Ki-moon

Heinz Fischer highlighted the life-threatening aspect of VAWG and underlined that women’s rights are also human rights: Only solidarity, empathy, and the will for action can turn this shadow pandemic around and give women and girls the rights and dignity they deserve.

In a special message, Phumzile Mlambo-NgcukaUnited Nations Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director called for “all hands on deck” to address the silence around VAWG and the discrimination against survivors:We must engage as allies in this situation, and that includes men and boys.

The highlight of the OTW event was the high-level roundtable discussing how to tackle the Shadow Pandemic with the outstanding panelists Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New ZealandAngela Cretu, CEO of AvonMohammad Naciri, Regional Director of UN Women Asia and Pacific & Trisha Shetty, women’s rights activist and founder of SheSays 

Helen Clark highlighted the need to have more women in leadership to formulate gender-responsive responses against VAWG, arguing that “More attention is paid to issues that address women when women are there to do something about it”. 

Along with raising awareness for domestic violence, Angela Cretu stressed that the private sector provides the necessary economic measures to empower women: “Only 10% of women report abusers to officials in fear of losing their children or livelihood. Businesses, together with governments need to create opportunities for women to gain financial freedom.”

With a unique perspective from the Asia & Pacific Region, Mohammad Naciri underscored that victims are not only trapped at home with their abusers, but digitalization has enabled the rise of online harassment and online misogyny: “We need to expand the legislation that criminalizes harassment as stalking. This does not exist in some countries.”  

Considering the dramatic increase of domestic violence cases, Trisha Shetty especially advocated taking action by investing in support services for survivors and advocating for leadership that celebrates women’s dignity and proactively acts against VAWG.  

Trisha emphasized,“…we are leaving far too many behind. It is costing us progress to our society and economy.” Ending violence concerns everyone!

Watch the whole event:

Special Message from Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka:

To learn more about orange the world click here.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler Speaks at European Forum Alpbach – ‘Women in Crises’

Part of the European Forum Alpbach, this week, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler joined fellow speakers Dr. Katharina Mader (Dept. of Economics at the University of Vienna) and Dr. Mireille Ngosso (medical doctor and social democratic politician in Vienna) for a virtual discussion on the role of women during crises.

The session was hosted by the Initiative Group Alpbach Vienna (IG Vienna) and moderated by Elisabeth Lechner (President of IG Alpbach Vienna). The speakers focused on women’s role at the forefront of the Covid-19 crisis and the structures of inequality that the pandemic has brought to light.

Dr. Mader shared results from her recent study with more than two thousand participants on the impact of the pandemic on the distribution of unpaid work in Austrian households (childcare and housework). The survey paints a picture of urban, middle-class women affected by the crisis; mothers in two-parent households were found to be responsible for the same amount of unpaid care work as those in single-parent households. These initial findings illustrate that, at least in this cross-section of Austrian society, the pandemic has not altered gender-specific norms in terms of unpaid and housework.

Dr. Ngosso started her intervention by sharing her personal experience growing up in crisis – fleeing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a child and later living in a women’s shelter for over a year with her mother in Vienna. She emphasized that the current situation for African women who have lost their livelihoods is evidently much worse than the experience of Austrian women.

She also mentioned that 88% of care workers in Austria are women. However, pointing out that women have had to double burdened themselves to take care of their homes and children while holding jobs. She also shared that 85% of those now unemployed in Austria due to the pandemic are women. Additionally, she said that working hours should be made more compatible so that women can have the opportunity to work full-time jobs and not be forced into part-time work. Dr. Ngosso finished with a call to action, emphasizing that it is the responsibility of political leaders to tackle gender inequality and unequal pay especially when comes to social services jobs.

Lastly, Dr. Ngosso was asked to share a bit about her work in organizing the Black Lives Matter demonstration held in Vienna. She shared her surprise to see 50.000 people join the event, showing a strong sign of solidarity.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler’s keynote speech focused on three aspects of women in crises: women leaders during the pandemic, women’s situation in the pandemic, and the opportunities that can come from this challenging time.

She shared that only 7% of humanity is currently governed by women even though half of the world population is women. She then noted that, in the current crisis, women leaders are outperforming their colleagues in responding to the pandemic by utilizing a more collaborative approach. She added that, while this observation is profound, it does not mean that women are innately better leaders than men.

Froehler continued by sharing the various challenges that women and girls are met with globally from child marriage, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), unequal pay, domestic violence, sexual violence, violence as a weapon of war, a lack of access to education, lack of property rights, and more. In addition, women are now facing additional negative and disproportional impacts from the pandemic.

Lastly, Froehler highlighted the opportunities that exist, emphasizing that, “Women are indeed the solution to much of this.” Women should be empowered to use an entrepreneurial mindset, to tackle climate change, to be active participants in peace-making processes, and to take on the diverse challenges we are confronted with globally.

At the end of the session, concluding that women are suffering more from the current pandemic than men, the floor was opened up for questions. One question that came up often was about the role of men in this process. Dr. Ngosso responded that “Men and women have to work together, side-by-side for change.” Dr. Mader called on men to be, “Active fathers – you are setting an example.” Lastly, Froehler added, “Men are half of humanity and we must work in collaboration to achieve what we want to achieve.”

Learn more about Forum Alpbach here. 

WEP GCC Fellows Participate in a Round Table: Effective Women Leaders

“I don’t want you to lower your expectation, but I want you to lower your self-criticism.”  – Helena Zimmerdahl from the Embassy of Sweden
Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) is in its full swing! As a part of BKMC’s Women’s Empowerment Program, WEP GCC fellows participated in a Round Table hosted in Diplomatic Academy of Vienna on November 19. At this Round Table, Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger, Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, featured as a moderator at the Round Table. Speakers were: Lulua Asaad from UNODC, Maggie Childs from Metropole and Austrian Startups, Mona Ali Khalil from MAK Law International, and Helena Zimmerdahl from the Embassy of Sweden to Austria. Lulua Asaad asked the fellows a critical question: “What does leadership mean to you?”

“It is important to have support from women within your network, while not neglecting the role of men.”

She also added that leadership is not about a position one is in, but responsibility leaders are capable of taking in their world. Regarding women’s empowerment, Mona Ali Khalil said,

“Empowerment of women requires men who are enlightened and women who are willing empower each other.”

As an international lawyer, she stressed that gender parity policies should be actual actions rather than lip service and should effectively address sexual harassment/sexual discrimination issues that still exist everywhere across the sectors. Minister-Counselor Helena Zimmerdahl pinpointed ‘transparency’ as an important trait of a good leader and said we must “speak up” for ourselves to make our voices heard. Zimmerdahl also advised the fellows to

“look at yourself and your accomplishments from the outside” in order to empower themselves.

Maggie Childs emphasized the need for getting help from mentors, friends and other experts when necessary and said,

“You don’t have to know everything before you do it… It is lonely at the top. You need to have your private space and friends who just listen to you. Having those friends would make you feel less lonely.”

A follow-up workshop was facilitated by WEP Project Coordinator Viola Christian from the Ban Ki-moon Centre. The fellows were grouped into 5 and discussed advice and points made from the Round Table, which they created their own manifesto with. © BKMC / Eugenie Berger For more photos of the event, visit BKMC album.

Closing Event for “Mentoring for Young Austrian Muslim Women – Global Citizens at Work”

Yesterday, the Ban Ki-moon Centre co-hosted the final closing event for the mentoring project “Mentoring for Young Austrian Muslim Women – Global Citizens at Work” conducted in partnership between the BKMC and Muslim Youth Austria (MJÖ). The event, held at the House of Industry in Vienna, was a celebration for the 23 mentoring pairs and the relationship they have built together over the past 6-months since the start of the project. At the event, BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered his words of congratulations to all participants. Additionally, speeches were given by Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi from the House of Industry, Ana Shakfeh, former President of the Islamic Religious Community in Austria, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler, and National Chair of the MJÖ Nermina Mumic. Following the speeches, there was a panel discussion entitled “Strong – Stronger – Woman! Successful Women Speak.” The panel featured Irmgard Griss, Austrian lawyer and judge who served as President of the Supreme Court of Justice from 2007 to 2011, Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek, Austrian Politician, Anna Steiger, Vice-Rector at the Technical University in Vienna, and Amena Shakir of the Sigmund Freud Private University. After the panel, Hagar Abowarda, a member of Muslim Youth Austria, delivered a spoken-word performance on the challenges Muslim women face in the workplace in Austria entitled, “Fatima’s Choice?” The final part of the evening was the certificate ceremony where mentees were awarded with a “Certificate of Achievement” signed by BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer, CEO Monika Froehler, and National Chair of MJÖ Nermina Mumic. The mentors also received a bouquet of flowers and a quote framed and personalized by their mentee.   The Ban Ki-moon Centre is very pleased with the cooperation with the MJÖ for the mentoring project and looks forward to future collaboration in the years to come! To view photos from the event, visit our online gallery here. To learn more about the project, visit our website!