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International Women’s Week launched in Geneva

Why did the GCSP mark #WomensWeek?

From 5-9 March, the International Gender Champions (@INTGenderChamps) network coordinated and organised International Women’s Week. #WomensWeek helped people navigate all of the important events marking International Women’s Day on Thursday, 8 March.

Ambassador Christian Dussey became an International Gender Champion because ‘Gender equality is at the heart of inclusive security policy and sustainable peace.  The International Gender Champions Network provides an important platform for international leadership, collaboration and innovation around this critical issue’.

For 2018, Ambassador Dussey has made 2 commitments in addition to a Panel Parity Pledge:

  1. The GCSP will organise the first high-level public performance of ‘Seven the Play’ in Geneva, to raise the importance of women’s rights as a security issue across sectors, enable more meaningful engagement and empathetic understanding of the issues by decision-makers and policy-makers, and promote more inclusive, respectful behaviour in workplaces.
  2. The GCSP will facilitate an internal consultation amongst all staff members to identify ways to further support women leaders in the field of peace and security, and better mainstream gender into our programmes.

The GCSP’s Gender and Inclusive Security Cluster Leader, Ms Fleur Heyworth, commented that the GCSP has made significant progress over recent years, increasing the number of senior female staff members, attracting more women to our courses, using more female experts and increasing the number of women on our Global Fellowship Initiative (GFI).  ‘We have had some outstanding female leaders join the GFI, including Ambassador Penny Williams, Ambassador Pamela Hamamoto, Congolese activist Julienne Lusenge, CEO of the World Obesity Federation, Johanna Ralston, and recently, Founder of Geneva Call and former President of the Parliament of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, Elisabeth Decrey Warner.  They help to inspire others and imagine what is possible across sectors’.

'We are also advancing collaborative, inclusive styles of leadership in our centre and our programmes, and recognise the value of diversity in all its forms, which has become part of the GCSP’s DNA'

Ms Fleur Heyworth

Ms Heyworth said ‘We recognise that there is more to do in the field of peace and security, particularly to increase the representation of women at senior levels, to challenge masculinised notions of security and promote more inclusive processes.  We are delighted to have senior support, and are committed to engaging men and women at all levels in leading change.  Change starts within organisations, with initiatives such as flexible working which is being taken up by male and female staff members at the GCSP.  We are also advancing collaborative, inclusive styles of leadership in our centre and our programmes, and recognise the value of diversity in all its forms, which has become part of the GCSP’s DNA’. 

Read Sunita Sehmi’s interview ‘Walk the Talk’ to find out more about GCSP’s Gender and Inclusive Security expert.  Ms Heyworth discusses her journey towards becoming a specialist in the field and her thoughts on how female leadership will shape the future.  This year, Ms Heyworth launched a series of courses and workshops ‘Inspiring Women Leaders’ to support the community in Geneva, and globally and in April the GCSP-CCL Leadership Alliance is offering ‘Leading Inclusive Teams’, a first of its kind 3 day course to help leaders leverage diversity for high performance.

Read Interview