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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 5, 2007

Women Leaders' Working Group Announces New Initiatives

On September 28, 2007, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik co-hosted the third meeting of the Women Leaders' Working Group with women Ministers, Heads of State, Ambassadors, and CEOs to address political, economic, legal, and educational empowerment for women at the grassroots level.

The Women Leaders' Working Group announced the following initiatives:

  •   Women in Kosovo ( Austria ): A special forum for women from Serbia and Kosovo to share experiences and network. November 2007, Vienna

  •   Global Action for Women's Justice ( USA ): Judges worldwide will address obstacles to women's access to justice. March 8, 2008, Washington , D.C.

  •   Meeting on Conflict and Security (EU): EU leaders will discuss conflict and security in areas such as energy and climate change. March 2008, Brussels

  •   Women in the Middle East ( Greece ): A forum to address challenges to empowerment faced by women in the Middle East . May 2008, Athens

  •   Colloquium on Women's Empowerment (Liberia/Finland): A conference promoting women in leadership positions in Africa . February 2009, Monrovia


The Women Leaders' Working Group proposed the following actions:

  1.   To urge the Government of Burma/Myanmar to resume a path of dialogue and democracy and release Aung San Suu Kyi (statement released 9/28/2007).

  2.   To submit, per the invitation of the UN Deputy Secretary-General, to the UN Secretary General the names of qualified women to serve in senior UN positions, particularly as Special Representatives of the Secretary-General and other senior positions in conflict and post-conflict areas. The Working Group will collaborate with the non-governmental organization Women in International Security to find qualified candidates.

  3.   To assist women in post-conflict societies in Africa .

  4.   To build upon/replicate the successful model of an all-women Indian peacekeeping/police force in Liberia .

  5.   To support a conference on Women's Empowerment in Georgia .

  6.   To address poverty reduction in Africa and Latin America through micro-finance and micro-credit models for women.

  7.   To cooperate for enhanced strategies to combat trafficking in persons.

  8.   To establish, particularly in rural areas, facilities where women can receive shelter from violence, as well as medical care, counseling, and job training.

  9.   To improve women's political participation, particularly in the Middle East and South Asia , by increasing the number of successful women candidates seeking office.

  10.   To co-author articles and policy pieces for publication in global media.

Participants in the Third Meeting of the Women Leaders' Working Group

Attending Ministers and Heads of State

Andorra FM Meritxell Mateu
Austria FM Ursula Plassnik
Barbados FM Dame Bille A. Miller
Belize FM Lisa Shoman
Burundi FM Antoinette Batumubwira
Croatia FM Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
Cyprus FM Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis
EC EC Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner
Georgia Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia Nino Burjanadze
Greece Deputy UN PermRep Alexandra Papadopoulou
Hungary FM Kinga Goncz
Iceland FM Ingibjorg Gisladottir
India Minister of Women's Affairs Renuka Chowdhury
Israel FM Tzipi Livni
Liberia FM King-Akerele (represented by Ambassador Minor)
Liechtenstein FM Rita Kieber-Beck
Malawi FM Joyce Banda
Nepal FM Sahana Pradhan
Niger FM Aichatou Mindaoudou
Oman Min. of Higher Education Rawya bint Sa'ud Al Busaidi
Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Philippines FM Alberto Romulo
Poland FM Anna Fotyga
UAE Min. of Economy and Trade Sheikha Lubna al-Qassami
United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Yemen Minister for Human Rights Huda Al-Ban

Co-Chairs of the Women's Empowerment Action Team

Claudia Fritsche, Liechtenstein 's Ambassador to the United States
Josefina Diakite, Angola 's Ambassador to the United States
Hunaina Al Mughairy, Oman 's Ambassador to the United States
Heng-Chee Chan, Singapore 's Ambassador to the United States
Ms. Shaista Mahmood, Philanthropist
Ms. Barbara Barrett, CEO, Triple Creek Ranch

Invited U.S. Civil Society and UN

DSYG Asha-Rose Mtengeti-Migiro
Ms. Rangina Hamidi, Founder of Kandahar Treasures
Ms. Mary Masterman, Intel Science Talent Search Winner
Ms. Elizabeth Smith, President, Avon
Ms. Kim Azzerelli, Vice President, Avon
Ms. Nannette Ahmed, United Nations, Program Officer, DPKO
Ms. Sang Silano, Program Analyst, UNICEF
Ms. Ann Moore, CEO, Time Incorporated

U.S. Government

Under Secretary Karen Hughes
Amb. Shirin Tahir-Kheli


Released on October 5, 2007

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