Brussels, 8 March 2014
Many years ago, generations of women, inspired by Suffragettes such as Emmeline Pankhurst, Susan B. Anthony and Kate Richard first fought to bring the voices of women to Parliaments. They spread the voices of women through the world, to institutions, to businesses, to culture, to science, to the many vital components of society. They inspired change in the spirit of advancing society.
But even today we still need voices advocating for equality and equity in order to overcome the limitations burdening women. We have come far, but we are not yet there. Significant gaps in gender parity in economics and politics persist around the world. Millions of women from the North, South, East, and West still do not have the opportunities available to men. Much more needs to be done to empower women to realize their full potential.
Today’s world is a volatile, complex and interdependent one. The “Women in Parliaments Global Forum” (WIP) believes that female Parliamentarians have unique perspectives and experiences. WIP seeks to inspire change, to find ways to address global challenges by using the collective strength and ability of Women in Parliaments across the World.
Today, we must inspire change. We must still demonstrate. We must still illustrate the inequality that exists in politics, and in society.
Women in Parliaments are representatives of the people. No matter their colour, origin, beliefs or gender. We are responsible for the generations to come and have the obligation to prepare a more equal world for them. It is up to us, to inspire change and to put ideas into actions. WIP would like to see an increasing number of women representatives in Parliaments. Women in Parliaments not only inspire change; they are agents of change.
Therefore, it is our wish on this special day to express we are conscious of our responsibility to advance society.
By the Advisory Board of the “Women in Parliaments Global Forum” (WIP): Zainab Bangura, Kathy Calvin, Ertharin Cousin, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Jane Goodall, Rebeca Grynspan, Tarja Halonen, Mo Ibrahim, Jeni Klugman, Pascal Lamy, Denis Mukwege, Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Ana Palacio, Lakshmi Puri, Sheika Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, Viviane Reding, Olli Rehn, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Laura Tyson, Jody Williams, Muhammad Yunus and Saadia Zahidi.