“Let us devote solid funding, courageous advocacy and unbending political will to achieving gender equality around the world. There is no greater investment in our common future.” — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
The goal of Women Evolution is to empower women with leadership skills that position them for decision-making roles in the business realm. Though it may at times seem a somewhat ordinary goal, enabling women in this way, one woman at a time, is like the butterfly effect – the concept that small causes can have large effects. It should never be underestimated.
Consider for a moment WE’s goal, now bump it up a notch or five, put it on a nourishing, clean, perfectly balanced, super-food diet coupled with the optimal amount of daily exercise, and you will arrive at the United Nation’s Power of Collaboration Conference. This conference is all about next-level women’s empowerment goals – education, personal and professional autonomy, leadership, and perhaps most importantly, the profound effect that results when those things coalesce and allow women to assume crucial roles with respect to prosperity and peace-building throughout the world. The potential is breathtaking!
So, imagine my nervous excitement on February 29th as I exited my cab at the United Nations Headquarters building in New York to attend and participate in this year’s conference. It was heady, walking past flags from around the world that line the entrance. I couldn’t escape feeling the possibility of real positive social change.
Walking in and seeing walls covered with photographs of world leaders who have changed their countries for the better was humbling. The best part was walking in the vast meeting room designed so all attendees can be seen and heard. The heavy presence of so many who came before was palpable.
I knew I needed to lean in, so like the “good student” I am, I ended up front and center, one row behind Ambassador Anawarul Chowdhury, a Bangladeshi diplomat most noted for his work on development in the poorest nations, global peace and championing the rights of women and children. Fifteen years ago, he created the landmark resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, which was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council.
Among other things, this important resolution affirms the crucial role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction. It stresses the importance of women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for maintaining and promoting peace and security, and urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts.
As you can imagine, much ground was covered regarding women’s empowerment on February 29th. I left the conference invigorated, inspired and with renewed commitment to furthering the advancement of women everywhere.
With March being Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8th, the conference’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I hope you will join me in celebrating and supporting the ongoing effort to tap the vast reservoir of underutilized talent and capability that empowered, self-actualized women bring to the world, one unique woman at a time.
What feels like a hair’s breath of stirring butterfly wings is setting a beautiful hurricane into motion. Just you wait!