Gender Issues Must Move to Heart of Davos Agenda

   •    January 27, 2010

This article was originally published by Women’s eNews.

Many of the world’s most powerful leaders are now gathering in Davos, Switzerland, for the annual World Economic Forum, which starts today and ends Jan. 31. For years, the gathering was almost exclusively male and its discussions lacked consideration of the gender angle.

But change is more possible than ever and it is time for the World Economic Forum to move gender issues to the heart of its agenda.

On women’s political leadership: Although men still dominate, glimmers of change abound. One example: the lower house of parliament in Rwanda, a nation driven by conflict, is 55 percent female, the highest in the world. These Rwandan women, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other female leaders provide a laboratory for the positive change that’s possible when women achieve critical mass in political leadership. Former U.S. Ambassador Swanee Hunt has for years, through her inclusive security work–where women from opposing sides in conflict areas are brought together for discussion and training–advanced women’s leadership in 40 conflict areas around the world, including Rwanda and Liberia.

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