Women, they said, can do anything man can do. This popular Liberian saying structured in the gender advocacy arena manifests in the situation of Liberian women, prominent amongst them are Liberia’s President emeritus. Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female President who won popular global acclamation and laurels during her leadership and now the first Liberian female Vice President, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor, both of whom are following the track of the first Liberian female President of the United Nations General Assembly, Dr. Angel Brooks Randall. Reports filtering into our news room indicate that Vice President Howard Taylor makes a lot of international gains and will be participating in Global Women Leaders’ Forum scheduled for 26-28 November, 2018 in the Iceland, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor will also on the margins of the Women political leaders Global Forum, have a closed door meeting with the Vice Prime Minister of Romania, Her Excellency An Birchall and she will participate in the EU Delegation and Chinese Embassy Breakfast meetings while in the Iceland; The ANALYST Reports .
The Vice President had earlier taken part in an international conference on antimicrobial resistance, which was Co-hosted by the Ghanaian Vice President in Accra, Ghana before heading a Liberian Parliamentary delegation, including Representatives Julie Wiah, Ellen Attoh, Rustolynn Dennis to attend the 2018 Women Leaders Global Forum in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The forum is expected to host women leaders from all over the World to take a look at gains made and gaps in Gender issues, Maternal Mortality, World Economic outlook, and other ideas to advance the world, peacemaking and to sustain peace, digital leapfrogging and technology and poverty alleviation, good governance and transparency etc.
During this Forum the Vice President and other Women Leaders will also meet a delegation from the European Union to discuss the future of the EU and its partners; and the Vice President will serve as a key panelist in several discussions, to include- Women Leaders- Power Together; Ideas To Advance The World With, along with Jose Manuel Barroso, the former Executive Chairman of Goldman Sacs and will participate in a global leaders’ round table discussion amongst other things.
An overview of the Global Forum for Woman Leaders which is tagged: Power Together Participant Briefing Memo, states that the forum will be a roundtable of extraordinary women leaders (current and former female heads of state/government and other special guests) addressing the most complex challenges of our times.
The forum will further be the first of its kind and will be held in cooperation with the Council of Women World Leaders (CWWL) and the University of Iceland; and will take place on a yearly basis at the Women Leaders’ Global Forum (WLGF).
Topics & Guiding Questions
The session will be facilitated by Dr. Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Associate Dean of International Affairs at University of Pennsylvania Law School, Global Adviser of the UN SDG Fund UN Women and Member of the High-Level Working Group on Women’s Access to Justice.
Regarding Session Topics and Guiding Questions, A Dispatch To This Paper Says “From Northern Ireland to Liberia to Nepal and many places in between, we have seen that when women participate in peace processes, they focus discussion on issues like human rights, justice, national reconciliation, and economic renewal that are critical to making peace, but often are overlooked in formal negotiations.”
Quoting former US Democrat Presidential candidate and one time Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the dispatch indicated, “They build coalitions across ethnic and sectarian lines, and they speak up for other marginalized groups. They act as mediators and help to foster compromise. And when women organize in large numbers, they galvanize opinion and help change the course of history.”
Women advancing a peace and security agenda require rethinking the traditional approaches to peace and security, from the root causes of conflict to the methods of preventing violent extremism, the brochure of the forum indicated.
To achieve genuine progress in the security of nations, it is vital to emphasis a more holistic understanding of peace, the dispatch recounted, saying “We need to look at conflict not only through the eyes of militarization and securitization, but through the eyes of access to education, health care, employment and resources,” a brochure of the forum said.
Where, in countries involved or around the world, have successful tactics in decreasing incidences of conflict or violence has been observed? (Some areas of focus might include decreasing gender-based violence, increasing access to education and healthcare, and expanding women’s rights and freedoms, according to the brochure of the forum.
In order to strengthen global cooperation and a peaceful co-existence amongst all nations, the conference agenda stated in brochure of the forum, “we must first establish a baseline of trust and respect,” dispatch added, wondering, “How do we forge and fortify these relationships in times of peace so that we can rely on them in times of conflict?”
In discussing peace, the dispatch underscored the necessity to also consider power, which has traditionally been defined as domination and control, often measured by military might. “Power may be obtained or utilized in a way that is unjust or illegitimate, often leading to oppression of those with less power. On the other hand, women often consider power as a resource that can be (re)distributed to empower communities; women are more likely to share power once they obtain it,” the conveners of the forum surmised, according to the brochure of the forum.
The brochure of the forum further that if in the past, power has been manipulated in a way that has caused conflict, how can women instead leverage power for peace? “How do we utilize power to reduce military expenditures and the availability of armaments? How do we utilize power to promote non-violent forms of conflict resolution?”
Panelists/guests at the Forum
Some of the panelists and/or confirmed guests to the forum include Amal Al Qubaisi, President of the Federal National Council of United Arab Emirates; Rosalia Arteaga Serrano, President (9-11 Feb 1997) and Vice President of Ecuador (1996- 1998); Zainab Bangura; former United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Ana Birchall Deputy Prime Minister of Romania.
Others are Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta; Paula Cox, Premier of Bermuda (2010-2012), Bineta Diop, African Union Commission Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, President of Iceland (1980-1996) and Jewel Howard-Taylor, Vice-President of the Republic of Liberia and President of the Liberian Senate.
The rest are Clare Hutchinson, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security; Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland; Xia Jie, Vice Chair-Woman and Member of the Secretariat of the All- China Women’s Federation; Mari Kiviniemi, Deputy Secretary General of OECD, Prime Minister of Finland (2010-2011) and Dame Jennifer Smith, Premier of Bermuda (1998-2003).
The Forum is expected to be hosted in what is referred to as the most significant venue in the Iceland, The Höfði House.
Protocol says the Höfði House symbolizes change, transformation and most importantly peace. Built in 1909, it is one of the most beautiful and historically significant buildings in Iceland. It is the building where the Cold War came to an end with a historic summit between American President Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986.
In 2018, in a world where the focus is on its fractures, chaos and violence, women Presidents and Prime Ministers will gather at the same house to accelerate progress toward peaceful societies
It says the forum will be a roundtable of extraordinary current and former female heads of state and government and other special guest women leaders tasked to address the most complex challenges of our times.
Billed to be the “first of its kind”, organizers say the forum, which would henceforth be held annually at the Women Leaders’ Global Forum (WLGF), is convening in cooperation with the Council of Women World Leaders (CWWL) and the University of Iceland.
The Women Leaders Global Forum is the platform where women leaders discuss and share ideas and solutions, by getting everyone participating to fully enter the conversation, not merely as an attendee, but an invited leader; someone who can hear what is being said, can add value to and share the passion for the conversation, thus serving as a Conversationist.
Meanwhile, the EU Delegation to Iceland and the Chinese Embassy in The Iceland separately requested special functions with the Liberian Vice President.
“Mme. Xia Jie, Vice President of All-China Women’s Federation and H.E. Mr. Jin Zhijian, Chinese Ambassador to Iceland requests the pleasure of the company of you at a breakfast session of Women Leaders Global Forum on 28 November 2018. Key note speeches from Mme. Xia and Mme. Silvana Koch-Mehrin, President of WPL, while the event will be a great opportunity to learn the latest development of gender equality and women‘s empowerment in China”, the invitation from the Embassy of China in the Iceland to Vice Taylor said.
The EU Delegation Breakfast Invitation to Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor: said, “Your Excellency Jewel Howard Taylor, The European Union Delegation to Iceland has the pleasure to invite you to a breakfast event which we are organizing in the margins of the Women Leaders Global Forum in Reykjavik. The title of the breakfast will be: The Future of the European Union: perspectives from the Bulgarian, Austrian and Romanian Presidencies.”
According to the EU’s invitation, “Guest speakers at the breakfast will be Lilyana Pavlova, Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2018, Juliane Bogner-Strauß, Austrian Federal Minister for Women, Families and Youth, and Ana Birchall, Deputy Prime Minister for Strategic Partnerships’ Implementation of Romania. The ministers will also discuss recent achievements in Europe in gender equality.”
The EU delegation informed the Liberian Vice President that the breakfast will take place at the Icelandair Hotel Natura, Nauthólsvegur 52, 101 Reykjavik, from 07.15 to 08.15 on Tuesday, November 27th 2018.