Rathaus Opening Ceremony
Bank Austria Salon at Altes Rathaus
The event was opened by the musical duo ‘Flöte & Gitarre’, followed by award-winning classical pianist Mr. Abuzar Manafzade. Music performances were followed by “Women in Leadership Positions: Inclusion and Diversity in Society” featuring Dr. Ursula Struppe, the head of Municipal Department Integration and Diversity (MA 17) of Stadt Wien, Mr. Matin Dexborg, Advisor on Gender Issues, OSCE Gender Section, Mrs. Louise Deininger, Founder and Initiator of GYCO (Global Youth Conference) and Mrs. Kelly Ann Anderson, Counsellor at the Canadian Embassy in Austria.
Dr. Ursula Struppe, the head of Municipal Department Integration and Diversity (MA 17) of Stadt Wien was a guest speaker who has seen the various problems that an active effort at integrating people presents firsthand. She also highlighted how organizations such as ICDO are important in shaping modern societies:
“Organizations like ICDO show us the value of accepting that everybody has different perceptions, and finding ways to communicate and bring people together is important, not preaching.”
The first-ever woman ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan, H.E. Nargiz Gurbanova, talks about the efforts of Azerbaijan for many years to make their society inclusive. Currently the Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Republic of Bulgaria, she spoke about the tight-knit group the women working in the Foreign Office formed and became an inspiration for women working across all other agencies.
Mrs. Louise Deininger, Founder and Initiator of GYCO (Global Youth Conference), and winner of the 2019 Black Austria Award in the category of Art and Culture emphasized on the importance of bringing young people together and enabling a dialogue right from then.
Mrs. Kelly Ann Anderson, Counsellor at the Canadian Embassy in Austria recollected how there used to be a handful of women at international conferences, but now that has changed and more women are able to participate. Her own country’s focus on making its foreign policy feminist is a good step towards that future. Mrs. Kelly Ann Anderson pointed out that, “we cannot go forward if we leave fifty percent of our population behind.”
Mr. Martin Dexborg shared his experience as a human rights monitor in a field office when there was no such thing as gender issues or looking at problems with a gender perspective. He recollected how just by going around and talking to women, along with the men, in conflict-affected areas helped them improve the operational aspects of disseminating services, who recalled:
“We as a group of men spoke to another group of men about the situation of diverse populations, naturally we never got the full picture.”