2020: Conversations with accomplished leaders to inspire and guide

Wednesday, December 23, 2020
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All throughout this unprecedented year, WPL has fostered conversations with accomplished leaders to share their views and reflections on various subjects. Notable discussions have included that between Silvana Koch-Mehrin, President of WPL and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of the Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and Special Envoy of the AU to Mobilise International Economic Support for the Continental Fight Against COVID-19, to reflect a critical juncture in international dialogue and action surrounding vaccination. 

In May, in the U.S., the brutal killing of a black man at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer sparked protests around the globe and precipitated long-overdue conversations on racial injustice. WPL then sat with Hafsat Abiola (Founder of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, Nigeria and President of Women in Africa) to reflect on the necessity of common humanity, and how a renewed sense of collective empathy – already catalysed by the coronavirus – has reinvigorated the anti-racism movement.

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (President of Malta, 2014-2019, President of Eurochild, Chair of The Malta Foundation for the Well-being of Society, and Chair of The Malta Trust Foundation) and Zuraida Binti Kamaruddin (Malaysian Minister of Housing and Local Government, WPL Ambassador, and #Girl2Leader Ambassador), challenged entrenched perceptions around youth in decision-making spheres. Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson (Minister for Foreign Affairs and Development of Iceland) spoke of the importance of equal pay for women in pursuit of a more equitable future. Nadia Murad (Founder and President of Nadia’s Initiative, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking, and 2018 Nobel Peace Laureate) discussed the impact of human trafficking on women, and Denis Mukwege, Founder and Medical Director of the Panzi Hospital, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Member of the WPL Global Advisory Board, outlined his holistic approach to addressing conflict-related sexual violence, both a physical and psychological form of warfare.