The Ban Ki-moon Centre Hosts Second Mentoring Workshop for Austrian Muslim Women

This week, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted the second workshop for its mentoring project for Muslim women in Austria in partnership with the Muslim Youth Austria. The workshop focused on building confidence in the workplace and was conducted by a coach Layla Abu Zahra.

The young mentees participated in exercises examining their strengths and expressing their successes. Coach Abu Zahra shared her 10 steps for confidence and success:

  1. Get things done
  2. Monitor your progress, write things down
  3. Do the right thing
  4. Exercise (your body)
  5. Be fearless
  6. Stand up for yourself
  7. Choose your surroundings wisely
  8. Think long-term
  9. Don’t care what other people think
  10. Do what makes you happy

In September, the final workshop will take place. In the meantime, the mentees are meeting regularly with their mentors and preparing their “Global Citizen Projects” for the final closing event.

We look forward to watching these wonderful young ladies continue to grow through the mentorship process!

“You cannot be what you cannot see,” says BKMC CEO Monika Froehler at her mentoring session for Muslim youth

“You cannot be what you cannot see!”
said CEO Monika Froehler of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens at the mentoring session taken place at the Centre on May 8th, 2019. As part of the Centre’s project  “Mentoring for Austrian Muslim Women – Global Citizens at Work,” Froehler met with her mentee from the Muslim Youth Austria (Muslimische Jugend Österreich) and discussed about the importance of having inspirations around for one to be empowered

As girls often do not see enough women leaders around them to have them as their role models, Froehler said that it is challenging for them to take further steps to reach their goals. Aspiring leaders need leaders that reflect themselves and that they can look up to.The two also talked about the crucial role of social entrepreneurship in advancing the SDGs.

Afghan Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel supports BKMC fellowship project

On March 5th, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Austria H.E. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel and Political Specialist of the Embassy Isabella Neri visited the Centre to have a meeting with BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer.

BKMC Associate Viola Christian briefed the visitors on the Centre’s upcoming fellowship program for women’s empowerment that will be launched in September 2019. The Centre will cooperate with the Diplomatische Akademie Wien – Vienna School of International Studies to coordinate and implement a tailor-made fellowship training funded by Korea Foundation involving training on the Sustainable Development Goals, gender and empowerment issues, communication, crisis management, mediation, leadership development and global citizenship.

The first edition of the Program will sponsor 20 young women from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Korea and Mongolia to take part in the tailor-made training, held in Vienna. The women will be selected based on their previous comitment to topics related to women’s empowerment and the Sustainable Development Goals. The goal is to prepare the fellows to increasingly become involved in the decision-making processes that impact the world sustainably. The program is aligned with the leadership and education pillar of the centre.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel, who continues to dedicate a large part of her diplomatic career to the advancement of women’s rights, announced her support for the Centre’s program.

BKMC co-organizes the symposium on “Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Citizenship” in Kuwait

In cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development of Kuwait, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens co-organized the symposium on “Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Citizenship” in Kuwait on February 12th, 2019.

At the opening, BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer delivered a keynote.

Ban emphasized that “now is the time to mobilize the global business community as never before.”

“Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals will improve the environment for doing good business and building markets. Trillions of dollars in public and private funds are to be redirected towards the SDGs, creating huge opportunities for responsible companies to deliver solutions,” said Ban.

“Despite the challenges we currently face,” he concluded “if we join together in strong partnerships and move forward as global citizens, we can achieve our global goals and create a brighter future for all.”

Co-chair Fischer stressed that women’s empowerment

“must also be regarded as a global issue and put into the bigger picture. It is a key to peace, to eliminating all forms of violence, and to enabling families, communities, and nations to thrive.”

He also shared the deepest appreciation to the Centre’s Board member, Ambassador Sadiq Marafi, praising his commitment to supporting the Centre from the beginning and to all his collaborative initiatives to foster women’s empowerment.

Fischer added, “we are looking forward to intensifying our work with Kuwait and in particular with the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait and to identifying further opportunities for cooperation.”

The 1st session of the symposium was entitled “Empowering Women,” featuring women leaders and representatives from both public and civil sector. BKMC Board members Irina Bokova, former UNESCO Director-General, and Andrea Pfanzelter, KACIID Senior Advisor, were featured as panelists of the session.

For the 2nd session entitled “Youth Role in Development and Citizenship,” representatives of a specialized center in supporting youth development in Kuwait and from the civil society, a graduate student from Kuwait University, as well as BKMC Board members were featured. The featured Board members of the Centre included Jean Todt, FIA President, Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary-General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, and Michael Sheldrick, Global Citizen Vice President.

The last session entitled “Role and Efforts of Private Sector in Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development” featured representatives from Zain Telecommunication, Kuwait National Bank, and private sector.

 

BKMC signs an MOU with the Supreme Council for Planning and Development of Kuwait

On February 11th in Kuwait, BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer signed an MOU with Dr. Khaled Mahdi, Secretary General of the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development of the State of Kuwait. The two partners aim to empower women in GCC region by developing fellowship programs and more.

To further discuss the projects and potential areas of collaboration, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and Associates Julia Zimmerman and Viola Christian had a meeting with Dr. Khaled Mahdi at the Secretariat.

Read Alrai Media’s news article on the MOU signing: http://www.alraimedia.com/Home/Details?id=ac9a5a67-b3de-426d-87fa-f3a05acfbd9d

Launch of the “Orange the World” Campaign at the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens

Since 2015 the “Orange the World” campaign takes place during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based violence. From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day the world’s most prominent monuments and buildings light up in the color orange to raise awareness and to represent a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls.

In Austria, the campaign is executed in a collaborative effort by the UN Women National Comittee Austria, Soroptimist International Austria, and HeForShe Graz. During the 16 days over 70 famous buildings and monuments will be illuminated in orange, ensuring that every region of Austria pays tribute to the cause. This year, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens joined forces and hosted the launch of the campaign on 21 November.

Co-Chair Heinz Fischer opened the event with a keynote about the history of women’s rights activism in Austria. 2018 is a symbollic year for the status of women for Austria, as it marks the 100th anniversary of female suffrage. Furthermore, our Co-Chair stressed that the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence serve to prepare ourselves to stand strong against violence against women during the entire year.

Co-Chair Ban Ki-moon surprised the guests of the event, congratulating them on their contributions to the campaign in a video message:

Violence against women and girls takes many forms and is still widespread throughout the globe. It includes rape, domestic violence, harassment at work, abuse in school, female genital mutilation and sexual violence in armed conflicts. It is predominantly inflicted by men.

He continued,

It fills me with joy and pride that Austria, my second home, will shine bright in orange during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and will stand strong in the fight against violence against women.

Subsequently, Desiree Schweitzer, president of the Austrian UN Women National Comittee and Head of Development Cooperation in the Austrian Foreign Ministry, and Marcella Sigmund-Graff, president of Soroptimist International Austria, empasized the importance of continued activism against violence against women, pointing to the fact that every thrid woman world wide suffers from sexual or physical violence at least once in her life.

In the end, Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Fröhler interviewed Anja Weisi-Michelitsch and Dr. Matthias Beitl, who will participate in the campaign by illuminating the Vienna based Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art and several smaller museums in the rural areas of the Austrian region Styria.

Guests were also able to enjoy musical interludes by violinist Sophia Hahn and pianist Richard Reiter.

This year, the theme of “Orange the World” is #HearMeToo. UN Women writes:

in recent months we have reached a tipping point, in large part due to the determination and bravery of grassroots activists and survivors and global social media conversation such as “#MeToo”, “#TimesUp”, “#BalanceTonPorc” “#NiUnaMenos”, #MetooIndia and “HollaBack!”. At the same time, we are experiencing a concerted pushback against women’s rights, human rights defenders and a shrinking civic space that threatens the progress achieved so far. Both trends point to one reality: no country, no organization is immune to sexual harassment and violence, and women and girls from all corners of the world still experience gender-based violence and abuse.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre is looking forward to an impactful campaign, not only in Austria, but worldwide. Only together we can achieve a gender-just world.

Photo: © Yazan Majananini