Today on International Women’s Day, Mary Robinson participated in the annual Gender CEO Award ceremony, which recognises the contributions of outstanding CEOs who have demonstrated a track record of creating opportunities for women and promoting gender equality.
The theme of this year’s event is Women Powering Africa, chosen to celebrate the achievements of this year’s winner, Helen Tarnoy, the Managing Director of Aldwych International, who has over the past two decades steered power projects in Africa. The event also looks at the broader theme of the empowerment of women and promoting gender equality.
Mrs Robinson also took part in a panel discussion focusing on female leadership as well as the empowerment of women in Africa. Speaking at the event, Mrs Robinson said: “Women are increasing significant at all levels in African countries. This is all the more remarkable, given that many barriers still persist, not least inequality in land rights and gender stereotyping in many countries.”
Mrs Robinson shared some of her own experiences as a woman leader and mobiliser of change adding that at every stage of her career, she has engaged women in leadership issues. She spoke about the gender dimension of climate change and how it has different impacts on the ground on women and men but also how she has seen firsthand the role women have to play when climate change is destroying their livelihoods.
Mrs Robinson pointed to the Troika plus of Women Leaders on Gender and Climate Change formed by the Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice which calls on its members to “listen and engage with women giving leadership at grassroots level”.