President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca delivered the introductory speech at the Global Meeting of the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society with the theme “Daring to Lead in a Disrupted World.”
The President said that the role of women’s leadership to guide the necessary transformation of our institutions and societies must take place as part of a collaborative effort which should embrace all of the stakeholders within our countries.
“We must pluck up the courage to take effective action, to implement strategies that ensure gender equity, equality, and full inclusion”, The President said, whilst adding that though the world is passing through a bleak period, “we must stand up to the challenges that are being felt across the world.”
The President was speaking in light of the fact that women and girls are acutely suffering from the consequences of armed conflict, which is resulting in much higher rates of gender-based violence, and in light of the fact that women and girls are rendered vulnerable to poverty and precarity, owing to the loss of jobs and the destruction of vital assets such as proper educational opportunities and basic shelter.
“In fact, the most recent data from UN Women reports that the rate of maternal mortality is 2.5 times higher in conflict and post-conflict areas”, the President said.
About the strategies to promote women’s leadership, President Coleiro Preca stated that these must aim to have an effect on all levels of political, social, and economic life so as to ensure the necessary successful transformation that is much needed in today’s disrupted world. She said that the social, cultural, political, and economic marginalisation which is currently being experienced by too many girls and women must be addressed.
“To pursue the goals of gender equity and equality within our institutions, we must first find effective strategies for reforming our systems”
The President called for everyone to be bold in taking practical and timely measures to reform the systems which are not working so as to ensure equity, equality, and full inclusion.
Indicators from the World Economic Forum state that it will take some 170 years to achieve meaningful gender parity on a global scale, if we keep the same pace as today.
“We must, each and every one of us working together, continue to give visibility to such issues, to ensure that the international community is further committed to do its utmost, to provide the necessary effective systems for the much needed positive outcomes for our societies, everywhere. We must create, and free up, spaces of frank and honest discussion about equal gender representation, across the entire structures of our organisations and institutions, at every level of engagement,” the President said.
On women’s role in peace-building, President Coleiro Preca reiterated once more that women must attain more prominent positions of influence and leadership, so as to be fully participative in the process of attaining and sustaining peace.
“Gender Diversity as a vital contributor”
The President stated that gender diversity is to be acknowledged as a vital contributor to the success of all our institutions, and across our societies “not only because it is a point of moral necessity, but also because it makes good social, economic, and political sense.”
The President said that respected gender diversity will not only help our societies but also the economic sectors, adding that “women must be encouraged to share their talents and expertise, as valued collaborators, with a unique contribution to make across all facets of life.”
“Gender equity, equality and inclusion cannot remain a closed conversation”
At the Global Meeting of the Women’s Forum, the urged those present to take their aspirations out into the world, to transmit a strong message in favour of equity, equality and inclusion.
“We must ensure that each and every one of us is aware of the benefits that we can all gain, when half of the world’s population is treated with dignity, and given the due space to flourish,” the President stated, whilst calling for continued investment in research-based data which empowers people to understand the net benefits that a shift towards gender equality can have, in our social, political, and economic lives, and for the promotion of strategies for resilience and solidarity.
The President said that to be strong and effective in the face of challenges as well as opposition, everyone must work together, whilst reminding those present at the forum that gender diversity is a designated goal of the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
“Sustainable Development Goal Number 5 can only become a reality when we address the fundamental inequality that still keeps too many women, girls and gender minorities from reaching the fullness of their aspirations,” the President stated.
“I look forward to welcoming you all to Malta, next year”
On concluding, the President announced that the next meeting of the Women’s Forum for the Economy of Society is going to be held in Malta next year. The President said the attendees of the Malta edition of the Women’s Forum will continue to further their discussions, bringing more focus on the importance of regional and global approaches to gender equity, equality, and inclusion.
“I am convinced that we owe it to ourselves, but even more so to our future generations, to ensure that the world we are shaping is one in which the promises of gender equity, equality, and inclusion, and the full dignity of each and every human being, will become a reality”, the President concluded.