For years the Club de Madrid has been addressing the challenges of the equitable participation of women in politics, government, and the economy; all vital to effective democracy and essential for achieving sustainable development. In line with this, Members have agreed to centre the Club de Madrid’s Annual Conference this year on, ‘Harnessing 21st Century Solutions: a Focus on Women’. At the Club de Madrid, we believe it is an ideal moment to review approaches and strategies in light of 21st century challenges and opportunities, as well as the revamping of the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015.
The Conference will gather approximately 150 high-level participants, including sitting political leaders, 40 Members of the Club de Madrid, and over 100 representatives from government, multilaterals, business, academia and civil society. Member speakers will include Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland; Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile; and Bill Clinton, former president of the United States of America. Other speakers are to include the European Union´s High Representative on Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton; 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakel Karmen; UN Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict Zainab Bangura; and Academy Award winning actress, Geena Davis.
Club de Madrid is particularly excited about the Lunch session scheduled for December 18 focused on ´Women in the MENA Region: Towards a new Social Contract´. This lunch, organized in collaboration with the ILO MENA Regional Office will include first hand experiences told by women from the private and public sectors in Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
At this year´s Conference, Club de Madrid will seek to share the best practices in addressing political and economic empowerment from a gender perspective and to identify benchmarks that can serve to guide coordinated efforts and move this agenda forward.