How to foster the next generation of female political leaders and entrepreneurs? This was the central question posed by Liberal International’s Vice-President and Human Rights Committee Chair, Markus Löning, as he introduced the fifth edition of LI’s Human Rights Bulletin, which saw contributions from top international liberal parliamentarians and NGO experts.Read the Bulletin here.
Drawing on the expertise of Nurul Izzah Anwar MP, Member of Parliament from the People’s Justice Party in Malaysia (PKR, LI full-member), Birgitta Ohlsson MP, Former Minister for European Affairs from Sweden (Liberalerna, LI full-member) and Sandra Pepera, Director for Gender, Women and Democracy for National Democratic Institute (NDI – LI cooperating organisation), the 5th edition discusses the importance of international cooperation in tackling violence against women and the value of education as the starting point for giving women the freedom to shape their own future.
Elaborating on her experience as the only female Member of Parliament to have been arrested for speaking out in Parliament, Izzah Anwar writes:
As International Women’s Day passed this year (8th March 2016) I realize it is now close to a year since I was arrested for sedition; and more than a year since my father, Anwar Ibrahim – the then Opposition Leader was imprisoned.There is no comparison between the two incidents – my one night was but a mere glimpse of his years being detained for his principled conviction – more than a tumultuous ten years for being a prickly conscience against the government of the day.
I believe the idealism that continues to thrive in Liberal International is one that provides hope for a better and sustainable future. Let’s resolve to provide more opportunity to defend and highlight the plight of women and children.
Ohlsson on the other hand points out that recently the feminist debate has all too often focussed on issues such as the female body and beauty myths rather than on the importance of women’s financial independence.
The defence of a woman’s right to her body, knowledge and struggle, is of utmost importance. But one must not forget the economy. Women working and earning their own money is the foundation of female emancipation
In a short two minute video message Dr. Pepera explains what difference women in poltics make referring to the recently launched NDI #NotTheCost campaign on ending violence against women in politics which is now officially supported by LI as announced by LI President Dr. Juli Minoves during the campaign launch event in New York last month.
The LI Human Rights Bulletin is a quarterly edition which aims to publicize the work of LI Human Rights Commitee and also share liberal views on urgent human rigths issues from around the globe. Subscruption is free of charge and can be done by clicking here.
The LI Human Rights Committee recently opened a call for nominations which ends on 26 April.