tv Women Global Leadership CSPAN January 18, 2018 9:13am-10:34am EST
last year we got into a controversy about pro life women, can they be a part of this movement. and what i stowed people we never said we were a proabortion movement. we're very intentional about the language. we're pro choice. we're a movement that believes that a woman should have the agency to choose whatever it is that she feels is right for her and her family and her body. >> watch sunday night at nine on book tv on c-span 2. an all women pan northwesterly foreign ambassadors to the u.s. discuss their diplomatic careers, they incrude ambassadors from kosovo, sweden and the african union. from the international studies in washington, this is an hour and 15 minutes.
whether you're joining us in the room here, and i lot of you are, or your joining us online, thank you for being here our smart women, smart power event tonight. we're excited and delighted that seven ambassadors currently representing their countries here in washington can join us for a look at the view of the u.s. from abroad. and as you may have noticed, they happen to all be female ambassadors and they are just a subset of those representing their countries here in washington. before we begin, i'll get to introducing the ambassadors in a few moments, but first i want to give you a few social media reminders. we hope you're following us on twitter @smart women and there should have been hand outs. hopefully you got them with all the ambassadors twitter handles and if you're live tweeting we ask that you use the #cse live.
we do have a itunes course with our smart women events. we hope that you're following those as well. our smart women smart power speaker series wouldn't be possible without the support of citi. thank you very much for helping us get our voices heard in international development. i'm pleased to welcome kristin solheim director of charge d'affairs at city. >> hi, happy new year. this sour fourth year sponsoring this series and i'm really excited to kick it off with this group of fabulous women. they have the most amazing resumes. they represent a slice of the women that are here in the united states representing countries from around the globe. so this is going to be a fascinating panel.
the countries that they're coming from you'll hear more about, but saint kitts and nevis, kosovo, rwanda, finland, sweden, fascinating different places from around the world. i'm sure they all have different perspectives but they're all women so i'm sure there's going to be a little grain of similarity between their thoughts of what's happening in the united states and around the world. there's no one better than nina easton to conduct the panel and i know she's back from what was -- looked like a phenomenal trip in africa. so excited to hear about that and a lot more. so thank you for being here and i'm happy to turn it back to kathleen hicks. [ applause ] >> all right. thank you, chris continue and thank you to citi for the continuing support. i have the unenvee able task of introducing these seven women and i say that because it's not without it's challenges in
annunciation. i hope you will forgive me i think i have this right but if i mess it up please believe that i tried. if you could just indicate who i'm saying as i walk down the line. on stage here we have her excellency vlora citaku who's the ambassador of kosovo. we have her excellency wafa bugaighis who's the ambassador of libya. we have her excellency thelma phillip-browne, ambassador of st. kitts and nevis. we have excellency mathilde mukantabana who's the ambassador of rwanda. her excellency arikana chihombori-quao, and her excellency karin olofsdotter, and kirsti kauppi ambassador of finland. and ambassador chi hee is the ambassador of the african union. our moderator is nina easton.
nina is also the chair of fortunes most powerful women international summit and the cochair of the global forum. thank you all again for joining us and over to you, nina. >> thank you. and let's -- around of applause for all of these been -- these women, first of all. it's truly an awesome and i tim dating experience to be around all these amazing women. we're first going to go down and talk to each of them a little bit about themselves and their countries and then we'll talk about some overarching geopolitical themes. but i really want to include you. so once we do two rounds, we are going to dak questions from the audience. go ahead and have them ready. there's cards. we will pick them up and we will read off the questions to our participants. so thank you. i'm first going to turn to my left, from sweden ambassador ole
loss of d karin olofsdotter, and they have an foreign policy. >> we have a foreign government that has a feministic policy. >> you say feministic. >> that's maybe language thing, i don't know. >> i like that word, i may borrow it. >> if a way it's a shame that we need to have it, and tps it's remarkable that we sit here as women is also in a way sad, but it's true. so i'm very proud and happy to represent a feministic government and being maybe the result of a feministic government because i'm the first woman appointed as ambassador to the united states from sweden. >> that's interesting. >> but going into policy, it's really something, it's not just the foreign policy, this is something that -- does it sound weird? actually all of government is
working on a feministic agenda, so it doesn't matter which government agency, they have to -- equal rights and women and men have the same opportunities. we still have challenges in my country. does this -- it -- >> it's okay? >> yeah. >> maybe i'm just hearing myself. no, but for instance, sweden women other 87% of what men are so there's a pay gap so we have challenges in my country that we're dealing with nationally. but then the government also thought it was very important to take these issues further and really in all our foreign policy matters we always have to look at women's issues. because it's very important that we really strife for the women have the same rights and responsibilities and representation as men. >> so give me an example of that. >> for instance, right now sweden is a nonpermanent member
of the united nations security council. so in all the presidential statements that have been done on the security council since we've been there, 100% of them have included women's issues. so that's one very important result, i think. we bring it up in our development corporation much more than we did before focusing on women and their economic power. also sexual and reproductive health is extremely important to us and there we don't see eye to eye with the u.s. administration right now. we think this is very serious because, of course, a lot of women die and are abused, et cetera. so those are issues that are very important. when we look to trade, we always try to look so where are the women and how can we throw our work strength in women as economic actors in the field. and we do that with all countries, so even countries within european union we address it all the time. so it really is something that
we consciously look at in all the issues we are working on. >> so your focus is bringing women's issues in. do you ever look at things like conflict in a different way if it's a feminist foreign policy? >> i think so, because what we have concluded is that women are, for instance, represented in peace negotiations. you will probably have much more stable peace afterwards because women bring other issues to the table than men. >> right. >> so it's extremely important. and why shouldn't 50% of the population be included in all these issues. >> right. >> why have we been excluded before? >> right. >> so it's just the right thing to do actually. >> so turning to the african union with dr. arikana chihombori-quao, now, this is interesting, she was for 25 years a medical doctor in tennessee in a town near where bev grew up. how do you say that?
fem mi memphis burrow. one of her daughters graduated medical school and one's in medical school, pretty impressive. what drove you to take on this position that you have now? >> well, i'm minding my own business, actually in bed it was exactly 3:02 in the morning when my phone rang and it was then chairman of the african union, chairman zuma informing me that my predecessor had turned in her resignation and that she was going to be running for president of tanzania. and that she couldn't think of anyone better than myself to take on that role. because i laughed at her, i couldn't see myself as an
ambassador. i said what do you think i know? i'm a medical doctor. and she reminded me that she herself is a pediatrician and that i had should -- i should take some time and think about it. i thought she was kidding. about a week later she called me again and -- and then slowly i began to realize that she was really serious. so we joke about it, we say she courted me like a man would be courting 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 as a family
physician would more than prepare me for 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, as a physician, he can very nicely tell a woman that she's overweight, but that it is our problem together. and that together we are going to deal with it and that you and this woman who otherwise would be exceptionally uncomfortable having this conversation can actually laugh about it, joke about it, and get on this journey together. so he reminded me that every day sometimes ten, 20 times a day it's one episode in plos aftdip
after another. we can picture a situation where in exam room number one it's a lady who just lost her husband that calls for a specific emotion at that time. and then you leave exam room number one to exam room number two it's a young lady who just came back from a honeymoon because she just got married. so you're going to two extremes of emotions in a short period of time and the emotions and the changes that are required that go on from one exam room to the other, each exam room being a different adventure and a different change of gears. at a much faster pace, i must say, in a doctor's life than
what's happening in diplomacy. so i can comfortably say being a doctor, contrary to what i would have thought, more than prepared me for what i'm doing now. >> so ambassador, as a doctor, i can diagnosis the african union and tell us what the problems are? >> yeah, i think the african union requires it's multi specialty approach. i think in some cases general surgery's definitely needed. in some cases we need orthopedic surgeons to break some bones. in some cases we need neurosurgeons to drill into the brain. and so, and occasionally, maybe often enough we need psychiatrists. so, yes, we do. >> and i want to hear more about that in the next round of
questioning. but let's move on to finland, ambassador kirsti kauppi. you've always been known, finland's always been known as a country pretty good on the gender equality level but what's fascinating is this new level that just came out that actually in your country men spend more time with their kids than women, by eight minutes, but still. do you think that's cultural? how much is cultural and how much is policy driven? >> i think it is both. and culture obviously has some impact on policies and policies have an impact on culture. so it is both. i think early on in the history of my nation the -- 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 in the history of
my nation, the notion that we need everybody to make it, and to make our country a success. and when we started as an independent country, finland was quite poor, one of the poorest countries in europe. we had a civil war straightaway after the independence and today we are one of the most successful countries in the world. and if you want to find one sort of explanation, single mostly important explanation to that, we do think that it is equality. gender equality, but equality at large. and the social policies and policies that we have put in place, all of them have really the goal to promote gender equality. so that's -- >> do you feel like you've made it and you're there or
there's -- are there initiatives to go farther on that front? >> absolutely. like karin said, there are a lot of challenges. and it's funny, you -- even if you reach a high level, you can never sort of rest because there is always new challenges and there's always the possibility of sliding back. so one of the big areas which obviously we have a very strong social policy in all the nordic countries, and a lot of policies in place to make it possible for women to be fully part of the workforce and also to share the so-called burden of children equally between men and women. but there are a lot of challenges, and one of the areas which is a very challenging area is work.
the work, jobs and work is changing very rapidly because of technologies and because of, you know, the economic changes. and how do you maintain the high level of for instance public services in that kind of a situation? that is one of the big challenges. i might also say or i should say that we have to remember that gender equality also means equality for men. and in some areas in finland we are more worried about what is happening to boys and men. so it is very important to remember that also. >> that's interesting. that's very interesting. now we turn to rwanda with ambassador mathilde mukantabana also spent a lot of time in this country teaching history in sacramento. how many years? ten years? >> ten years. more than that. >> before you took on this job. >> that's right. yeah. >> what drove you?
>> thank you so much. for a long time i lived in california as a refugee. there's always a sense -- and the experience of that most rwandans went through, i left my country when i was 13. >> when was that. >> that was prior to the genocide. >> prior to the genocide, okay. >> and pretty much separated from my parents through many african countries, i landed in california for a number of reasons. but what i can tell you is that we never -- row wand an never ceased to be part of us. it became you will most like an idea you needed to reach. so even in foreign countries what we did was try to organize and to become activists so can go back. and i always say that for me to become two mothers, the united states became one i was given the opportunities to be able to
go back. and there was a time when you said rwanda it was not a country you were proud to go back too to because of the vision and many different things. but when the call came, especially a few years back, it was one of the best things that i could embrace that i didn't think before i could go back. and abandon, whatever, you know, security i had in california and so on so forth. because, for me, it was always like a mission and responsibility, also to give back to that particular country. so when we talk about women, most of them were in my own -- because the majority of people in rwanda or at least of the ones now were refugees or they had abilities of other kinds. they stayed in the country, the majority survived the the horrible genocide, and i don't want to go back to that to tell
you that in the genocide there's an institution functioning in the country with that, it was the state, with that was the family event. so the women did a lot, even if that particular perspective to survive, to mend the fabrics of broken societies, broken families, so on and so forth. but also the new sheep that was coming in was intending to use or to open the door to women because, number one, because of the reality, more women survive. there was a big gender racial -- in rwanda with 60% of women and for us the empowerment of women was also part of recovery. not only that, but because even before energy came, before all the programs came, the women tried to take a child to brand
it into whatever to try to survive. so our women had it way before, they are not subjects where you come and give something. they survived circumstances. and after genocide and all the agenda, the president's pro women parliament, it was part of the framework and then the practice started to come. we're not perfect, but what i'm saying is that once the framework came, when you put it in the constitution that women had to be presented, the practice followed. and it's something along that particular course that you are on. >> and i've read about in rwanda that they call. rosy, the riveter phenomenon, where men weren't around, men were killed and women talk to up and started businesses. isn't there a women's culture that helped rebuild the country? >> we when we look at the genocide, yeah. people died but women were even
more violent than anybody. so, for instance, we had more than 600% -- 600,000 deaths. >> 600,000. >> yeah. people were infected with hiv. we had rwandans that were born out of rain. so if we talk about reconciliation and that we had to put in place to bring a society that can function together, we have to start thinking in terms of intimate reconciliation. when you look into the eyes of your child and you are able to forgive them and forgive yourself. someone who has aucues accused husband and that proof is there. we have that generation of young ones and when we talk about reconciliation, it's a very hard battle. baugh row wand is able to function together and have an identity and it's one of the biggest challenges among our youth because you have, you
know, the children who were borne out of rain, we have the children who -- whose parents died during genocide, you with children whose parents were killed. how do you bring society together? so that's pretty much why i admire my country, because there was no single model where you were able to bring all these people together, are able to bring a society that is functioning into this perspective and you can't ealy remove the women. because the women are the navigator of the spheres. they were married to the general, they were married to the victims, they were sometimes the mothers to the children. so you are looking at women who became very strong and rebuilt on resilience and a certain strength. so it's pretty much that. >> a challenging time. so turning to st. kitts and nevis, ambassador thelma phillip-browne, 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? >> okay, so first of all thank you for having me. it's great to be among a diverse group of wonderful women here. our country is the smallest in the western hemisphere. st. kitts and nevis, nevis is just all of 36 square miles. it was a little bit larger, but a tsunami took it in the 17 hundreds. st. kitts is 68 square miles but pure beauty both of them. they're interesting in that when the trade winds come off of africa, they're two of the first islands that the trade winds meet. and so normally antigua, barbuda
are the first to experience hurricanes. and, in fact, if you follow the track, they were headed directly towards us. but irma deviated a little bit north and mar ria deviated a little bit south so we were spared the brunt of the hurricane. $150 million in damage is nothing to sneeze at, but when you compare with domenica over $2 billion, you know, and some of the islands we have not even as yet computed the amount of damage and the human suffering, and we got off pretty good. that said, in small islands and in the lesser an till lees, the islands are very close and we move around a lot. so everyone in saint kitts and nevis has relatives in puerto rico and saint martin and so forth, so you are on facebook
and asking where your relatives were. i didn't hear from my nephew in total a week. the first sign i had of anything to do with him i had a picture with his pickup in the sea. so that was frightening. and then i go back and, you know, people tell me of the devastation and the anxiety looking at the hurricane coming towards them, the expenditure to prepare for the hurricane. and though they were happy, it still left a scar because they had to be preparing all these boxss boxes at one time. at one time they ran out of food because they had to be sending all these boxes to other countries. so it's very traumatic for the islands and we're hoping that this next year would be better. we're hoping, against hope that this is not the new norm. but we are also mindful of the issues of climate change and i
might not be politically correct to say it but for us and for me, particularly who was born a stone's throw from the sea and realize that 20 years ago we had to build a sea wall to keep the sea out. it is real. and that is one of the biggest challenges we have because it's a threat to all of us. it's health, economics, security, mental health, to everything. and so -- >> you're going to be facing that it's getting worse as the years go so thank you for sharing that. moving ton libya, ambassador wafa bugaighis, you are -- you're kind of home here put went to catholic university, got your chemical engineering degree. spent time at gwu. libya, talk about a country that's been through difficult times and you've been involved in rebuilding civil society and participation of women.
where do things stand on that front now? >> you're talking about women or the country? >> well, start with civil society. >> okay. well, first of all, i would like to thank csis for organizing this great event. we follow it every time you host the great women here and thanks to the participants and audience here. libya is going -- my country's going through a very challenging times. it's been challenging since the uprising in 2011. things didn't quite go according to our aspirations and hopes. nevertheless, despite all the challenges, we are facing hope still drives us to continue working to regain back our
stability and rebuild our institutions. it's very much, i'd say after the armed conflicts it leaves the country broken with no institutions and it's not an easy job to rebuild. and you need all the institutions to hold the state so you can implement all the human rights and legislations and rule of law. now, women fought hard after the uprising to enter the political landscape and though the aspirations were very high, nevertheless, after a while security threats, instability, social and cultural barriers
hindered those efforts a great deal since society was very strong right after that uprising, and as my colleague ambassador from rwanda said here, women step up always in crisis and they harness society. and this is what happened to libya while men were fighting the front lines. it was women who held the society together and took care of daily life and helping the life to continue. nevertheless, when the dust settled down, we went back to square one. social economic barriers surfaced again up and then security threats and crimes and violence. now the efforts of women, of
course, faded. but nevertheless, we're still hoping that we will come back and start where we ended. >> i sense some pessimism in your voice even while you try to be hopeful. >> it hasn't been easy. it's been very challenging and difficult. it's been tough seven years on the country. and seven years say long period really to endure, you know. each year we would hope for the year after, we had great elections, we were on the road for democracy and we were fighting how to promote women rights and women, you know, we were issuing legislations and society was very active.
we would have that turn and then it became security that was -- you know what i'm saying, when people are searching for security and thriving. we have extremism, we have crimes, we have a lot of insecured borders. it's been very challenging and we are hopeful. and the u.n. is working out a plan with us and we hope it will work. i am cautiously. >> cautiously. >> open tune nistic. we might have to struggle for some time because things don't stay status quo. it's been difficult on the people. on daily lives people are struggling for their daily life in a very rich country.
healthcare, education, everything has become challenging and difficult. and to see that happening is sometimes way beyond, you know, bearing and -- >> it's hard seeing that happen to a country you love. >> yes. yes. >> it's a beautiful country. kosovo, ambassador vlora citaku, your country went through difficult times a while ago and you've been involved in the campaign for women who were raped during the kosovo war. talk about that and talk about -- why don't you talk about the healing process that brought the country to where it is now. >> well, first of all, thank you very much for having us here. it feels great to be in an all-women panel. it's not very common. i am from kosovo, which is the youngest democracy and youngest
dem gra demo graph if i. we are just two years younger than twitter, to put it in context. but we are also very young demography. 70% of the population are under 30. >> wow, 70%? >> yes, under 30. so i'm not young for kosovo standards, just so you know. and thirdly, kosovo is by far the most pro-american nation on earth. we have a bill clinton statue next to a george w. bush boulevard. we're very unique. and we're going to celebrate our tenth birthday next month. i was so envy us of my finnish
colleague, 100 years. and when we grow up, i hope we will become like finland. because it's truly an inspiring model of gender equality. it is true kosovo has gone through a lot. just 18 years ago it was a state on ruins, on ashes. over half of the population was deported. thousands of women were raped. families were destroyed. families were torn apart. but, kosovo is no longer known only for it's tragic past because of women. kosovo has become also a story of success and inspiration. although we are the youngest
democracy in europe, we were the first country in southeastern europe to have the commander and chief, a woman largest number of golden medals per capita. so i don't confuse you, that's just one. but that was also won by a woman, a young girl waited for her chance because kosovo just 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 and by the way, judo. you never say in kosovo you fight like a girl. you don't end up very well. but there was this young woman
who trained in terrible conditions, often without electricity, refused offers from many governments who gave her and offered her millions so she could compete for other flags. but she waited for her chance to compete and win for kosovo. giving all of us a lesson, especially us in the public service, that not everything is for sale and there are things money cannot buy. she has become our nation's inspiration, role model and she's done for kosovo far more than all the other ambassadors combined. and another example, very very important example i want to
share with you, is the survivors of the sexual violence in kosovo. i have never seen women that are that brave. for me, they are true heroes because they had to endure so much. the physical part of the pain is probably the easiest to heal, but the trauma, the stigma they have suffered after the war was just terrible and heart-breaking but they never gave up. they stood together. they organized associations. they helped one another. they relied on one another. and they never, ever called for revenge. >> never called for?
>> revenge. never, ever. and when interviewed, one of them said well, hate is too much of a heavy burden to carry. i don't have time to hate. i have to take care of my kids, i have a family to worry about. kosovo needs to move on. and this is what women have brought in kosovo because state building is far easier than society building. you adopt a law, a constitution, it is challenging, but it's much easier than society building, than building a social cohesion in a society that just came out from the war. so i am proud of everything what women did in kosovo, and i'm even prouder to represent them in washington, d.c. >> so what do you all think of this?
raise your hands if you want to chime in. this whole question of whether women approach conflict and moving past conflict without getting pollyanna, do they approach it in a different way and how so? >> i think that women approach it differently because they are mothers, they are spouses, they are everything. no matter how much we look, if we talk in the abstract and talk about women's movement, maybe, it's a little bit -- we have to look at the specifics in everyday life, especially if i look in my society and my community, it was pretty established that the women were the heart of the home. >> in rwanda. >> in rwanda and many different societies i know of. it means that when the wars are
going on, the rules are everything. they lose their home, they lose their husband, they lose their children. when i look at, for example, when we're talking about our reconciliation and what was taking place, it meant that sometimes you had to bring two paths together, and usually the women, because they married all sides -- they didn't marry one part of that. that's where our communities were, for instance, very complicated. when i was talking about the family, that's what i was talking about. you know, even when you are talking about it, they were married. but the determination who was to be killed and that was because of a patrilineal society, doesn't mean that the wife was
not intimately and emotionally bound to the person of the other group so there was an divested interest, like an existential part of your soul. that is there to solve. but also, women, i'm not saying in general, i have come up with women who have been actively waging wars. i have never seen men's societies where women are waging war. it means that when they are upset in the debate that is bringing the warfare and stuff out of there, the discussion is where to be complicated because the other elements and concepts where you can bring peace, from another perspective, is sometimes absent on a global stage. >> if i may add, very often when we talk about women and conflict, we very often make the mistake of treating women as victims only.
women are heroes. i have met women who took up the gun and fought the regime. i have met women who led the peaceful resistance during the '90s. so women are brave and when it's needed, when it's necessary, i have seen them be great champions of all values the society aspires. but what probably sets the difference -- >> oh. it's okay. >> what sets the difference is the way how we react once the conflict or the war is over. we are more ready, more willing, to move on.
because conflicts and wars do attack women in much more profound ways than they do attack men. >> a message from kosovo. i'm interjecting countries because this is also audio. thank you, kosovo. go ahead. >> thank you. when you hear about what your countries have been through, i realize i came from a totally different corner from this. we haven't had a war in sweden for over 200 years. >> but you do have a militaristic past. >> we do. before that, we had been to so many wars and we were so poor that everyone basically left for america. it's true. it's true. no, but what you are telling, the stories you are telling is of course what we have seen and coming from a very rich country where we set off 1% of our gtp in development corporation, this
is also how we want to use our funds, to strengthen women in societies that have been through the horrors that you have. and that's what we've seen. we know through our very long time -- term corporation and the international outlook, that women are needed, at least as much as men. we must make room for women. so if we, coming from this rich part of the world, can facilitate, it's really our responsibility to do that. that's where we come from as well. >> i wanted to turn to our first audience -- i'm sorry, did you want to -- >> yes, i just wanted to say, we are a peaceful region, yes, so we have not faced conflict in the same way. but i go back there, there's a book written about society in jamaica. my mother and father had a different situation to deal with women in the caribbean, where men have traditionally been
emasculated to slavery and women had to step forth. the difference is, the women do not have the political power but we like to say we are the neck that turns the head. my husband used to say you see around the corner, men see in straight lines. women see around, because we look at all eventualities. we are more relational. as ambassador said, they don't have time to get caught up in the idea of the conflict. they must move on, because there are children, cousins, everybody depends on it. so even though we don't have the political power, we have to move on and we must find a way to deal with the situation. that's why when you look at all the statistics, when women are involved, peace is more lasting, more forthcoming. when women are involved, governance is more transparent.
when women are involved, the economy thrives. women need to get involved. in the caribbean, sometimes we don't go out front in terms of the leadership, but you're behind, if you look at, like, the heads of departments and so, lots of women doing the hard work, because that's what -- women carry the brunt of the society. and so we don't get stuck in what has been. we have to move on. >> ambassador? >> i would just add one thing to what my colleagues have said. i do believe women are agents for peace and we have witnessed, in our -- yeah, libya. can you hear me? yeah, okay. we have witnessed in all the reconciliation initiatives and efforts that we did that women
don't have this competition for power that really hurt us and harmed us a lot. women do think about the good for the society and the country, the good for the future of their children and the generations, while, on the other hand, men can be drawn into the vicious cycle of power struggle, and that just is an obstacle to all peace initiatives and reconciliation, and that's one thing that's come in between women and probably men lack that. >> if i could -- do you want to add anything? i could move into audience questions. >> i wonder if i can just make a comment on just the plight of women in general. i would share with you all just my experience as a medical
doctor practicing in africa and also practicing in the united states. i can honestly tell you that the plight of women are the same. i have found myself using the psychology that i saw being used to manage depression from various reasons in my village, and i have used it in tennessee. i will share a quick story with you. a young lady who would come to me, young woman, in her 40s, the husband was cheating on her and she was just sick and tired of it all and she didn't know what else to do, and i jokingly said to her well, you know, where i come from, in my village, it seems to me you are just ready to take off your clothes and run up and down the village naked. and she goes i did it, i did it! you did what? she said it was cold, it was
winter and she took off her clothes and she got on her riding mower and she started just riding around the house hoping that some neighbors can come out and that would embarrass her husband. well, i said what was your husband doing all this time? she said he was by the door calling me, you're crazy, come back in, come back in. she said until she started getting cold, nobody came out. but it was so reminiscent of what happens in my culture. you see, when a woman marries, she doesn't just marry the husband. she marries the husband and the whole village. and then you pretty much submit yourself to the husband's village. when you first get there, first your family tells you must represent us well, you must behave and you must -- so the woman goes there and she works like a chicken without a head. she's running around like an
everready battery. everybody that needs help, they are calling on her. her children start coming and she's trying to say i can't handle it anymore, it's too much, i need help. nobody's paying attention. two, three kids down the road, the woman has had it. so what the african woman would do in the village is take off her clothes and run up and down the village, and that's the outward embarrassment to the husband. then suddenly, the elders are now calling for an emergency village meeting. now that is the only way the husband can get into trouble. that is the only way the woman can be heard. so now what's being done by women in an african village, the american woman in tennessee is using it. i'm saying this to say regardless of how we got to this state of -- disease means
dis-ease. be it dis-ease of the physical body, dis-ease of the mind, at the end of the day, the pain is the same. and how we deal with it as women, our survival mechanisms are the same. i just wanted to share that with you. >> thank you so much. [ applause ] >> tell us where your village is -- was. >> this is -- it's really pretty much a lot of cultures involved. but all bantu tribes, really. >> so one of the things, this is an audience question, one of the things that's kind of consumed male/female relations in this country, you know what i'm about to ask, is the me too movement. has there been any trickle out to any of your countries? what are you seeing? >> well, certainly we have also a me too movement.
even if finland is -- has a very high gender equality, the me too movement has brought more attention and light to sexual harassment, and i think it has been very useful, especially in the sense that there's more discussion about what is proper behavior and improper behavior and what is not. in other words, sort of learning to understand better and i think that's very, very important. because sometimes, you know, we think that everybody understands each other in this respect, but that's not really the case. so that has been very important. and in some fields, there have been quite a lot of cases which have come to light and it seems that there are some sort of spheres of society where sexual harassment is sort of accepted.
it's not accepted in the society at large, but for instance, in entertainment industries right here as well, somehow it has been part of the culture, and with the me too movement and the discussions that have really sort of, there's been a lot of attention to it, i think the culture, there's a possibility the culture gets healthier also in those sectors. so i think it's a very important discussion and i'm happy that it has reached finland. >> anyone else? me too movement? >> i think we still have a long way to go as africans. i don't think we are even where we are having this conversation to this significant extent. i had an interesting conversation with someone that i thought i knew just this
christmas and she just said oh, i was raped by my father since i was 6 years old until i was 13. i just about fell off my chair. this is someone that i thought i knew. when she finally fought him back, this is in africa, he just went on to the next younger sister and the next younger sister. so we have a long way to go as africans and the conversation is not even begun. so we got work to do in africa. we are nowhere near having the conversation where the conversation needs to be. >> do you agree? >> yes. absolutely, i agree with my sister. but the country specific -- the movement is not lost on young women, because sexual violence is criminalized, and people have used that to also report on
rape. the problem now is to go from reporting and actually going on record to say i was raped. sometimes they become anonymous because, again, because of the issue of stigma still attached to sexual violence and so on and so forth. but at the same time, because we have the process to punish people who have committed sexual violence, more and more especially young women are coming forward to talk. the question has been whether you can start really pursuing somebody when it's an anonymous face who is accusing. >> right. >> you know, so, are we at the point where you can actually come and say, i was raped in an open forum? it becomes more and more difficult. and as she said, it's really a long way to go. >> it's very, very important -- >> kosovo. >> it's not only in kosovo.
i believe it's yes, in kosovo, but also here, it is very important to protect women that come out and speak up. not only protect, but also embrace, support and make sure that their stories don't end up being just the headline of the day, because i fear if we are not consistent on the objective which is sexual harassment, we will lose this conversation on proper names, you know? oh, did you see this x person sexually assaulted y person. there are millions of women out
there that have no platform. women that work in hospitals, in schools, in farms. they are not celebrities. how do we stay focused on the subject, not on the names that are attached to the harassment? and i think we have to be much measure cautious -- media needs to be much more cautious, but also the rest of us that are getting enthusiastic about the debate. we need to make sure that we stay focused on what's important and what is important is the subject, not sexual harassment, not individual stories, which are very painful, yes, but there are millions of stories out there that have never been told.
>> so there's a question from the audience wanting to know if any of you have faced, encountered sexual harassment in your career and how you reacted to it. does anyone want to take that on? >> i would like to take it on, but i would like to say something before that. while i do not disagree with you, i totally appreciate where you're coming from, but the truth is, if alyssa milano was not involved, we wouldn't have known that ti arana burke started a me too movement so there is place for celebrities. but i hear you. we don't need to -- yeah. in terms of my country, we have not reached where we ought to be. we have really not had the conversation. but i believe the men are paying attention, and if women do not come out and say it, i believe that they are paying attention
and i believe their actions could -- because it is very common. i can not give a specific instance, but it is very common in all culture. men will slap you on the behind, and, you know, say remarks, and that is common place. some people almost take it for granted. some people like it, you know? but i think now women are beginning to understand that this is not right and men, more importantly, are beginning to understand that this is something that is not acceptable. even if they do not come out like they are doing here, i think they are paying attention. [ speaking simultaneously ] >> go ahead. >> i think it is very important also to have in place sort of structures, methods through which you focus on issues like that.
for instance, in finland, in almost every workplace, for instance, in the government, every, including, for instance, my embassy, there's annually a sort of a -- how should i put it? a study, inquiry made about different aspects of the workplace. everybody answers anonymously and the questions included are whether you have observed that behavior in the workplace, whether you have observed sexual harassment or other kinds of harassment, and if you have yourself experienced, and you get the results from those studies, and if there's any indication that something like that has happened or has been observed, it's really the duty of the boss to address this issue. and there's a very detailed sort
of method, instructions for the boss and the staff about how do you address these issues. not generally, but really when something like that comes up and you know when you go in the workplace, something like that has happened, how do you address it. so there has to be -- i think it's very good that there's that kind of mechanism in place where it's easy to sort of report, and then there is a clear path how you address it. >> so we are out of time. but what i want to do is end on a personal question to each of you, and answer it from the heart. there's a lot of women in this audience, there's a lot of women in our broadcast audience who look at you all, you have reached the pinnacle of careers, you are strong women, you are the ultimate symbol of success.
what is your advice to young women who want to pursue your path? kosovo. >> well, thank you very much for the qualification. i don't think i have reached the peak yet. but i think what my life story tells is that you can succeed against all the odds if you work hard, if you are committed and if you put your heart in it. 18 years ago, i was a refugee. i was separated from everything i knew and loved. and here i am today, representing my country in washington, d.c. so just stay focused, work hard and whatever you choose to do, do it with honor and integrity.
>> very powerful. words from libya. >> from libya. yes. don't ever think you cannot make it, whatever your heart, wherever your heart goes in your career, go for it and you will come out winner if you focus, if you are committed. don't ever think or hesitate or think you cannot make it. you can never know how brave you are or how courageous until you really face up to challenges and only then you will realize how strong you are. i think we are all strong and it's just how you judge yourself. so be strong, be assertive. nobody will give you anything.
you have to go for it and ask for it and take it, and take what you deserve, whatever it is you deserve, go for it and do it for yourself. >> thank you. advice from st. kitts-nevis? >> what shall i say. when i -- after i went into the white house, i went and i took a picture of the house, a similar house to where i was born, half the size of this platform. my father and my mother had eight surviving siblings. it's obvious where i would have done my ablutions, in an outhouse. and i'm raising it, but we all here have to be honest, and it's
elephant in the room, and so -- and i don't mind that. and so, as i look back, i'm black, i'm a woman, i'm from an extremely poor neighborhood, and so i'm probably the lowest on the totem pole. and i reflected on that just a few days ago in all the hoopla. and i went to a verse in songs of solomon 1:5, and the speaker is saying -- she's saying, i'm dark but lovely. and the king james says, i am black but comely. and she went on to say that, my -- why are you staring at me because i'm black? and she said, my brothers were angry with me and they sent me out into the vineyards. i neglected my own vineyard and
that said three things to me. one, she was saying she was looked down upon, discriminated because of her color. and because of her gender. she was punished because of her gender. and yet, she was talking about her self-worth. she says, i am dark as solomon's curtains. solomon is the king. so she equates herself to the king's curtain. so, right away, it was in spite of who i am, in spite of where i'm from, god did not -- the creator did not make any mistake, and so i must have some self-worth. and i thought, in god's tapestry of this universe, he has created each one of us for a purpose. some of us might be a black skein of wool or black thread, some white, some pink, some
purple, but every one of us has a unique slot in that tapestry. and as long as we find that slot and the best little color that we are, then it's going to enhance the whole tapestry. we enhance the tapestry, and those around us make us shine. and so, my -- so my message to anyone is to find what your creator ordained you to be. find that slot. be the best you can be. whatever it is. and enhance the tapestry of the universe. [ applause ] >> rwanda. >> it's pretty unfair to say anything after what she said. >> i know. >> but i have to say that, really, i encourage people to be
of service wherever they are, at whatever station in life they are in. one of the things -- we have goals. we have dreams. we have -- but we never learn there. it's really when you start where you are in your community in extending yourself. i didn't plan to become what i am. actually, i was very happy being -- >> being a professor. >> absolutely. you know, but i think whatever i did when i was a professor, before then, in refugee camps, i was always doing those -- i was putting a little stone on top of one or the other. when you leave your country and you are young, you are not with your parents, you are not with any role model. you needed to find an eternal grounding. and that -- eventually i abandoned it, but for me, it was my catholicism. until i abandoned catholicism
because i equated it to genocide. later on, i made peace with it. but what i'm saying, at least during that time, the concept of christianity and whatever to keep me out of trouble. but also they were able to promote me in a certain direction. but you become involved where you are. once you -- especially everyone has challenges. everyone. you know, whether they are big, small, however you are, and sometimes we tend to go into narcissistic suffering. that's one of the biggest killing of anything that you can do in your life. >> so being around refugees and seeing help and wanting to help grounded you? is that what you're saying? >> and being able to say, i still have my two legs, i was healthy, even in refugee camps. there were other people who were not really as lucky as i was. so, that also gave me the mission and responsibility to extend myself and to extend whatever i had.
so, i think you can learn being in an ambassador place, but when you start where you are, even if you are in a school, you know, i think you start in a school, you start in volunteering, you start by looking at the other as a human being where you can make a big difference. so, i believe that we all have that capacity to reach the higher goals. >> thank you. sweden. >> it's very hard to come after these fantastic stories, so i'll be a bit more maybe concrete. i think it's very important not to think about that you're a woman so much. think about that you are very capable and what you are doing. work hard. think more like a man. if there's an application for a job and it says you need these eight qualities, a woman will say,i only have seven. i can't apply. a man will say, oh, two. that's me. [ applause ] and i think -- and that's how women have to think as well.
we are being overcautious sometimes and think is that you have to be perfect. no, it's about getting things done, you know, going maybe round the corners a bit, and not -- and actually career planning. look ahead. what do you want to do? what's the job you want to have after your next job? so it's really being quite concrete about it and be a bit bold. >> thank you. african union. >> i was raised in a village in zimbabwe by a woman who would always tell us that work never killed anybody. just do it. i had a brother who was very lazy, and mother would give us little portions of land to work, and my brother would spend more time trying to negotiate and play games with the rest of us and figure out how he can get us to do his work. and i still remember, even as a little girl, how we would be
done with our work and he still tried to figure out how to get us to do his work. i remember, now, raising my own children, and i would now say to them, if this world was a beehive, i could never be a queen, because i enjoy work. i would have to be a worker bee. i thrive off of work. i was raised by a woman who didn't understand why any woman should just sit around the house and do nothing. surely there's got to be something for to do. there's a dress you could mend. you could rearrange these or rearrange that. didn't realize how much that has become so much a part of me. i truly thrive off of work. i enjoy just working, regardless
of what it is. i remember visiting one of my fellow doctors and we were talking about work ethic. i said, doc, if you pay me enough, i'll find dirt in your living room that you didn't even know existed. because if i make up my mind to vacuum your house and clean your house, i'm going to clean it the best way i know how. >> that's good. >> so to young people, i say to you, whether you're getting compensated or not, if you make a decision to do something, give it the best you know how. and the rest will follow. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> finland, you have to top them all. >> i agree with everything that has been said, but i will say -- you said that we are strong women and i have never identified myself as a strong woman, so i started to think, what is it, strength?
and if you would pose the question, how come i am here? and then what is my piece of advice? it would be, be true to yourself. do what you are passionate about. and thirdly, i'm a big believer in sisterhood and brotherhood. so, support the others, friends, networks, and offer your support to others. so, i think that's what i would say. >> i want to thank this panel for sharing your perspectives but also your lives and your hearts with us tonight. thanks to all of you. [ applause ] thank you for coming. please come to our next event. do we have a date, bev? it's coming up soon.
not yet. but be sure to be here. but thank you for coming. we really -- [ applause ] this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on lectures in history, depaul university professor mark on president abraham lincoln's portrayal in art and photographs. >> mr. lincoln, give me back my 500,000 sons, meaning the soldiers that have been lost in the war, so this is the darkest hours of the civil war, 1864.
and then lincoln, who the artist shows with his leg slung over his chair like he's a country bump kin, right, his reputation for being inelegant and crude. he says, by the way, that reminds me of a story, which was another part of his reputation. he was always telling stories and homilies and tall tales and jokes, sometimes to a really irritating extent. >> at 10:30 p.m., from the american historical association's annual meeting, a discussion on free speech on college campuses. >> intellectual diversity, i think, is healthier than many people suspect. now, that doesn't mean that there isn't an issue where certain students' views and certain groups have felt that they have received less active attention from the faculty and the administration. and i include conservative students in that group.
they have received less public attention, and i think we need to meet those students where they are and to help them to develop a place in our public conversation where they feel more included. >> and sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern on real america, the 1987 film "drug abuse, meeting the challenge." >> anyone that says cocaine's not addictive, they lie. >> when you do cocaine, you lie to yourself about being in control. >> cocaine's not hip. it's hype. anyone who tells you it's okay is a liar. >> watch american history tv every weekend on c-span3. sunday night on afterwords, women's march on washington cochair reflects on the 2017 march and what's ahead in her book. she's interviewed by heather
mcgee. >> what do you say to them? >> i say -- >> and what do you say to them to say to their sisters who may not have marched but are, you know, otherwise share their culture and their beliefs? >> i say to them that it may not feel like this, but we are fighting for them too, and we believe in their potential to do the right thing, and i know that they continue, oftentimes, to disappoint -- including disappoint their white sisters, the 49 other percent or the 47% who don't vote for republicans but what i ask people to do, i'm not actually loyal to any political party and i have been known as a big critic of the democratic party for a long time. and i say to people, vote your values and your principles and also don't assume what this movement is about. and the reason why i say that is in the last year, we had got into a big controversy about pro-abortion, pro-life, can pro-life women come and be a part of this movement and what i said to people is that, we never said we were a pro-abortion movement. that wasn't the language that we