Attendees will seek to share best practices in addressing political and economic empowerment from a gender perspective and identify benchmarks that can serve to guide coordinated efforts and move this agenda forward. The forum is organized by the Club de Madrid with the support of President Bill Clinton and the William J. Clinton Foundation.
Other participants include Michele Bachelet, Secretary General of UN Women, actress Geena Davis, Director of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and Tawakul Karman, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize award winner.
The conference comes at a key moment in time. Leaders will review strategies and procedures that should be followed to maximize the opportunities for effective social change and empowerment of women in the 21st century. Moreover, all program components are in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals keeping in mind the challenges posed in the formulation of the New Sustainable Development Goals
The Club de Madrid has identified several areas that continue to require discussion in this context: whether or not quotas should exist at both political and corporate levels; the challenge of reconciling work and family; the fight against women trafficking; the need to effectively join peace processes and security, and the incorporation of new technologies as a vehicle to have greater gender equality.
To further explore these issues, this Club de Madrid Annual Conference in Little Rock, President Bill Clinton’s hometown, will bring together major civil society organizations academics, political leaders, scholars and business leaders. Companies like Acxiom, Walmart, Microsoft, the Council of Women World Leaders and the Ford Foundation will have high-level representation. Key institutions such as UN Women the International Labour Organization, the Interamerican Development Bank and NATO will provide experiences and best practices learned in their respective fields. Members of the Club de Madrid, all democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers, join the Conference sharing the wisdom from years of service in their respective countries. Among them, Kjell Magne Bondevik (Prime Minister of Norway, 1997-200; 2001-2005); Jerzy Buzek (Prime Minister of Poland 1997-2011); Joaquim Chissano (President of Mozambique 1986-2005); Felipe González (President of the Government of Spain, 1982-1996); Lionel Jospin (Prime Minister of France 1997-2002); Wim Kok (President of the Club de Madrid and Prime Minister of the Netherlands 1994-2002) Chandrika Kumaratunga (President of Sri Lanka 1994-2005), Ricardo Lagos (President of Chile 2000-2006), Mary Robinson (President of Ireland 1990-1997) and Jennifer Mary Shipley (Prime Minister of New Zealand 1997-1999).