Panelists for ICRW’s “Women: An Emerging Market” event met over the phone lines this week to touch base about their discussion next Wednesday, Oct. 19, at The National Press Club. And judging from what we heard, it promises to be a provocative conversation about the openings and obstacles for women’s economic advancement.
BBC World News Anchor Katty Kay, who will moderate the discussion, started by exploring some themes that could emerge in the conversation. Our panelists, Gayle Smith of the National Security Council, Nemat (Minouche) Shafik of the IMF and ICRW’s own Anju Malhotra, all agreed that current events make “Women: An Emerging Market” all the more timely: Women’s voices are rising up during the Arab Spring. Women leaders and activists are honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. More women are at the helm of powerful governing bodies. And on the front page of global financial newspapers you’ll find women leaders like new IMF head Christine Lagarde and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Yet still, many women around the world remain invisible. They continue to live in poverty. Their contributions to the global marketplace go unnoticed. If we took a snapshot of women’s lives worldwide, we would see stark differences in their economic opportunity, safety and health. This remains the reality in the midst of clear progress – and fodder, we think, for an engaging conversation next week.
What do you think is driving the progress we’re witnessing for many of the world’s women, and what’s still preventing women from being a force for global stability and prosperity? What have we accomplished for women economically and where do we need to do more work?
Join us next week for the conversation! We also invite you to submit your questions on Twitter for BBC’s Katty Kay to ask panelists during the discussion. Send them to @ICRW and please use #P2P in your tweets.