tv Women Global Leadership CSPAN January 17, 2018 1:12am-2:31am EST
>> ambassadors to the united states discuss the future of women in total we are global leadership positions including sweden and the african union. the center for strategic and international studies this is one hour and 15 minutes. >> whether you are joining us in the room or online, thank you for being here for the event.
we are excited and delighted that the ambassadors representing the countries here in washington can join us and as you may have noticed they are all female ambassadors. before we begin i will introduce the ambassador in a few moments but i want to give a few social media reminders. we hope you are following us on twitter and there should have been handouts hopefully you got them with all of the handles. we also ask that you use the hash tag csi live. we hope that you are following the events as well. part of the speakers series wouldn't be possible without the support thank you for helping us amplify the voices of the women in foreign policy, international
business and international development so i'm pleased to welcome the director of federal government affairs. [applause] happy new year. this is the fourth year sponsoring the series and i am excited to take it kick it off with this group of fabulous women. they have the most to amazing resumes and are here in the united states representing countries from around the globe, so this is going to be a fascinating panel. the country they are coming from you will hear more about, but kosovo, rwanda, finland, sweden, fascinating different places from around the world i'm sure they have different perspectives but i'm sure there's going to be a little grain of similarity between what their thoughts
about what is happening in the united states and around the world. there is no one better to conduct the panel and i know she's back from what looked like a phenomenal trip and after, so excited to hear about that and a lot more. thank you for being here and i'm happy to turn it back over. [applause] thank you for the continuing support. i have the task of introducing these seven women and i say that because it is not without its challenges and enunciation so i hope you will forgive me. i think i have this right but if i mess up, please believe i tried him if you can indicate who i'm saying as i walked down the line. we have the ambassador of kosovo
and the ambassador of libya, we have her excellency the ambassador to rwanda, her excellency the ambassador of sweden, her excellency ambassador of finland and i'm sorry the ambassador the moderator is also the chair of the most powerful women's international summit and the cochair of the global forum. thank you all for joining us and over to you now. >> a round of applause. [applause]
it is truly an awesome and intimidating experience to be around all of these amazing women. we are first going to go down and talk to each about them and their overarching geopolitical theme, but i really want to include you so we will do two rounds and then we will take questions from the audience. go ahead and have them ready. there are cards that we will pick up and we will read off of the questions so thank you. it is really interesting that sweden has what it overtly calls a feminist born foreign policy. how does that go and what is it lacks
>> use a feminist at. maybe that is a foreign language kind of thing. it is remarkable that we sit here as women and it's also sad but it's true, so i'm very proud and happy. because i am the first woman appointed as the ambassador from the united states in and sweden, but going into the policy is really something. all of our government is working on this agenda so it doesn't matter which government agency, they have to dig into these e. quality issues to make sure they have the same opportunities. we still have challenges.
is it okay? maybe i am just hearing myself. in sweden, women only earn eight to 10% of what men are and we are dealing with this nationally but then the government also thought it was very important to take these issues further and in all of our foreign policy matters we have to look at these women's issues because it is very important that we strive for women having the same rights, responsibilities and representation. >> gave me an example of that. >> right now they are in nongovernment members of the security council, so in all the presidential statements that have been done on the security council, 100% of them having killed the women's issues and so that is one very important result and we bring it up in the development corporation very
much more than before focusing on women and their economic powers and also sexual and reproductive health. we don't see eye to eye with a u.s. administration right now and we think this is very serious. a lot of women die and are used abused etc.. when we look to trade we always like to look at the women and how we can strengthen the women as economic actors in the old. we do that with all countries in the european union. it's something we consciously look at. >> bringing the women's issues in, do you ever look at things like conflict in a different way? >> i think so.
if we are represented in the peace negotiations we would probably have a much more stable piece of this because women in other issues to never issues to the table and then so it's extremely important, and why shouldn't 50% of the population be queued in on all these issues. why have we been excluded before? said it is the right thing to do. >> turning to the african union, this is interesting. she was for 25 years a medical director. the doctor in tennessee. both her daughters are graduating and one has already graduated from yale medical school, so pretty impressive. what drove you to take on this position that you have now?
>> i was minding my own business -- [laughter] it was exactly 3:02 in the morning when my phone rang, and it was the event chairman of the african women's union informing me that the former predecessor was going to be running for the president of tanzania and couldn't think of anyone better than myself to take on that role i couldn't see myself as an ambassador. i said what do you think i know? i'm a medical dr.. she reminded me i should take some time and think about it.
i thought she was kidding. about a week later, she called me again and then slowly i began to realize that she was serious, so we joke about it and say she was courting me like a man escorting a woman. it took her six months to finally get me to say yes but it was not an easy decision because it never occurred to me that my experience with the more than the diplomacy and before i finally made the call to the chairman to say that i would take the position, i had a conversation with my husband who reminded me of how we can very
nicely to a woman but that it is our problem together and put together your going to build on this and this woman who otherwise would be exceptionally uncomfortable in this conversation can laugh about it and joke about it so she reminded me that every day sometimes ten to 20, 30 times a day, one episode in the diplomacy because of the different scenarios that we run into a weekend picture a situation where in the exam room number one is a lady that just lost her husband that calls for
a specific emotion at that time and then you leave the exam room number one and go to exam room number two and a young lady that just came back from her honeymoon from getting married. you go from extreme emotions in a the short period of time and the emotions and the changes that are required that go on but going from one exam room to another, each being a different venture. i can comfortably say being a doctor prepared me for what i'm doing now. >> as a doctor, can you diagnose the african union as well as
[inaudible] [laughter] >> i think that it requires a specialty approach. i think in some case gentle surgery is needed and in some cases we need orthopedic surgeons to break some bones. [laughter] in some cases we need them to drill into the brain and occasionally maybe that's enough actually. so yes, we do. i want to hear more about that in the next round of questioning but let's move onto finland. ambassador, finland has always been known as a country pretty good on the gender equality level, but what's fascinating is the what is fascinating is the news that came out actually in your country men spend more time with their kids than women, by a
two each minutes, but still. [laughter] you think that this cultural and how much is cultural and policy driven? >> i think it is both. it has an impact on the policies and policies have an impact on culture, so it is both. i think fairly early on in the history, by the way the nation is 100-years-old as an independent country last year we celebrated our centennial, the nation is older than that, but early on the notions include we need everybody to make it into to make our country a success. finland was one of the poorest country in europe and today we
are one of the most successful in the world. and if you want to find one sort of explanation than the single most important explanation to that we do think that it is a quality, gender equality is large and these policies that we've put in place for all of them have begun to promote. >> do you feel like you've made it or are there other initiatives? >> absolutely. there are a lot of challenges and even if you reach a high level, you can never sort of express this because there are
always new challenges and even the possibility of going back, so one of the big areas which obviously we have a strong social policy in these countries and a lot of policies in place to make it possible for women to be fully part of the force and also to share the so-called burden between men and women, but there are a lot of challenges and one of the areas that is a very challenging area is work. jobs and work is changing very rapidly because of technologies and because of the economic changes. how do you maintain the high level of public service and that kind of situation that is one of
the big challenges. i might also say or i should say we have to remember gender a quality also means equal to determine a. we are worried about what is happening to boys and men so it's important to remember that as well. >> now we turn to rwanda with the ambassador that also spent a lot of time in the country teaching history in sacramento. >> thank you so much. [inaudible]
that was the framework we are not perfect but i'm saying is that the equal framework women are to be presented and it's something on that particular. >> i've read about in one rwanda because the phenomenon where they picked up and started businesses in a women's entrepreneur culture. >> when we look at the genocide, yes. women were more violated than anybody. so even when we talk about this
to bring this function together it is a negotiation. someone who is accused your husband, there's that generation so when we talk about the reconciliation, it's a very uphill battle and it's one of the biggest challenges to the [inaudible] how do you bring to be covering that together. so they were able to bring all
of this together. sometimes the others so you are looking at these women and -- >> turning to the ambassador ground, tell us about your country, the smallest sovereign state in the western hemisphere. you did okay but not great during this past hurricane season with hurricane irma and maria. what are the key issues for you? >> thank you for having me. it's great to be here and thank you to the group of wonderful women who are here.
we are the smallest in the western hemisphere. it's all a 36 square miles and it was a little bit larger but a tsunami took some in the 17 hundreds. it was 58 square miles. when the trade winds come off, the first island they need, so normally it's the first to experience a hurricane and in fact if you follow the track, they were heading directly towards us. but irma deviated a little bit and we didn't bear the brunt of
the hurricane. $150 million worth of damage is nothing to sneeze at, but other islands have not yet even computed the amount of suffering >> with that said, in the small islands the islands are very close so they think their relatives in puerto rico and a basic u.s. where relatives are. the first sign i had so that was frightening. and then i go back and people
tell me about the devastation and they are looking at the hurricanes coming towards them and have had to be prepared enough to see are hoping this next year will be better and that this is not the new norm and it's a stone throw from the sea and we had to build a seawall to keep it out and that is one of the biggest challenges
we have because of the threat. it is getting worse as the years go. thank you for sharing that. you are kind of home here, you've got your chemical engineering degree at your time giving gw university. talk about this country that has been through difficult times and you've been involved in rebuilding civil society participation with women. where do things stand on that front right now? >> first of all i would like to think of csi s. for hosting this great event.
my country is going through a very challenging time it's been challenging since 2011 things didn't quite go according. nevertheless, despite the challenges, we are facing hope to continue working to regain back or stability and rebuild our institutions is very much [inaudible] country with out institutions
and it's a job to rebuild and you need all the institutions to hold a the human drive legislations and rule of law. women fought hard after the uprising to enter the political landscape and the aspirations were very high. nevertheless, the security threats and instability barriers hinder a great deal of. they haunt the society and this is what happened to when they
voice. >> it hasn't been easy. it's been very challenging a and it's been a tough seven years on the country and seven years is a long period to endure even after we have these great elections for democracy and fighting hard to promote women's rights and labor issues in legislations and civil society was very active. we were pushing for women's participation and didn't realize that it had this turn and then it became security that drove it and a priority now. now it's when people are searching for security, we have extremism and crime and insecure
borders. it's been very challenging to. we are hopeful as we are working out a plan we hope it will work. i am cautiously optimistic. it's been difficult people are struggling to in the country for healthcare, education. everything has become chairman challenging and difficult and see that happen is sometimes way
beyond bearing. >> it's hard seeing that happen to a country that you love. your country went through difficult times a while ago and you've been involved in the campaign during the kosovo war. talk about that and the healing process to the country to where it is now. >> first of all, thank you very much for having us here. it feels great to be on a panel and it's not very common. i am from kosovo which is the youngest democracy. my colleague suffered a stroke so many things but i keep that i keep repeating it because i love it. we are two years younger than twitter. [laughter] but we are also a very young democracy. 70% of the population under 30.
>> 70%? >> under 30. so i am not young for our standards. [laughter] and third, kosovo is by far the most [inaudible] we have a statue on the boulevard. we are very unique. and we are going to celebrate our half birthday next month. patriot when we grow up i hope we will become like this truly inspiring model. it is true xhosa boat has gone through a lot.
over half the population was supported. families were destroyed and torn apart, but kosovo is no longer known only for its tragic past. because of women, kosovo has become also a story of success and inspiration. we were the first in southeastern europe to have a commander-in-chief woman president. we also are the country with the largest number of per capita.
so i don't confuse me with just one. but there was a young girl who waited for her chance because kosovo joined the olympics committee a couple of years ago and it was in rio we had the chance to compete for the first time and there was this young woman [inaudible] you don't end up very well. but there is this young woman who trained in terrible conditions with hours of no electricity. many offered her belly and so
millions so she could compete for other flags, but she waited for her chance to compete and win for kosovo giving all of us that not everything is for sale and there are things money cannot buy. she has become our nation's inspiration and has done far more than the other ambassadors combined. another example, very important example i want to share with is the survivors of sexual violence in kosovo. i have never seen women that are that brave.
for me, there are two heroes because they had to endure so much. the physical part is probably the easiest to heal, but which, on the stick that they suffered after the war was terrible and heartbreaking, but they never gave up. they stood together and organized associations. they hope to one another and relied on one another and they never called for revenge. never, ever. and when you enter you'd base it on the it is a heavy burden to carry, i don't have time to
hate. i have to take care of my kids, i have family to worry about. we need to move on. state building is far state building is far easier than society building. we've adopted law and constitution. it is much easier than society building because the social cohesion in the society that came out from the war so i am proud of everything she did in kosovo and even prouder to represent that in washington, d.c.. >> what do you all think of this and raise your hand if you want to chime in on this whole question of whether women approach conflict, without getting pollyanna, do they approach it in a different way, and also?
peaceful resistance during the '90s, so women are brave and when it is needed and necessary i have seen them with all bellies of society that would probably sets us apart [inaudible] what makes the difference is how we react once it is over. we are more ready and willing to move on because they attack and more profound ways.
>> i realize i come from a totally different corner. >> but you do have a militaristic path. >> everyone basically left for america. >> now when you are telling the stories you're telling what we have seen a recent talk on% of the gdp this is also how we want you to strengthen those that have been through this horror that you have and we know that women are needed and we must
make room so coming from this rich part of the world it's the responsibility to do that. >> we have not faced conflict here but i go back and there was a different situation to deal with a. they were traditionally emasculated and women had to step forth. the difference is the women do not have the political power but we are the neck that turns the
head. we look at all eventualities. as the ambassador said it is in the idea of the conflict they must move on because there are other children and even though it says we have to move and we must find a way to deal with the situation and that's why when you look at all that these statistics the women are involved in the piece peace is more lasting and forthcoming. it is more transparent. women need to be involved. but you are behind if you look