17 women’s advocacy groups and nonprofit organizations have partnered together and united their voices in the ongoing fight for gender equality. Together, they go by the name emPOWer, which launched its work on October 11th during the celebration of International Day of the Girl Child. EmPOWer’s event is one of the three events of the #Girl2Leader campaign organized by the Women Political Leaders Global Forum (WPL). The events and celebrations took place in Malta, the European Parliament, and Canada.
President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca of Malta inspired the emPOWer initiative, but the #Girl2Leader campaign, of which she is a proud supporter, focuses on inspiring girls’ interests in politics at a young age and fostering that curiosity throughout their young adulthood. As of right now, 92 percent of the world’s government is run by men. This project desperately wants to change that. Simultaneously, #Girl2Leader strongly fights against dangerous gender stereotypes that too often hinder young girls from reaching the height of their capabilities.
“There is strength in numbers and our objectives are to work to break down the structural and cultural barriers impeding girls and women from entering politics and believing that they too can lead the way, alongside men,” said the new chairperson of The Malta Confederation of Women’s Organisations (MCWO), Lorraine Spiteri, representing emPOWer.Spiteri and those who stand with her want everyone to understand that women deserve the same rights as men. This is a global issue that warrants a global initiative.
Spiteri and the MCWO are also hoping for support from both men and women. “It’s important that such advocacy groups are not just seen as a female endeavour. The changes we are advocating are for the overall community, society, and economic benefit, to ensure the best use of the available human resources and talent,” Ms. Spiteri said. “This means that men – fathers, husbands, brothers, and colleagues, among others – are all welcome and encouraged to join in these advocacy efforts. Men can be the best ambassadors to help get these messages across to their peers.”
Spiteri also noted that “although the platform is made up of women’s organisations we are open to collaborate with all those wishing to help in achieving our goals.”
President Coleiro Preca stated, “There is an urgent need to widen the opportunities for children, and lift up our young girls in particular, by empowering them to become women who lead. It is for this reason that I am a proud patron for the #Girl2Leader campaign, launched by the Women Political Leaders Global Forum.”
She adds, “Our country, and our world, needs inspiring role models and strong strategies for shared leadership. The world needs the precious participation of all our women and girls, alongside men and boys. In this way, we shall be creating the kind of future that we will be proud to hand down to future generations.”
The 17 organisations that make up emPOWer are as follows: 100 Women in Finance; Business and Professional Women in Malta;Foundation for Women Entrepreneurs; Malta Association of Women in Business; Malta Confederation of Women Organisations; Malta Girl Guides; Migrant Women Association Malta; MissInTech;Moviment Nisa Partit Nazzjonalista; National Council of Women;Network of Young Women Leaders; Soroptimist Malta; Nisa Laburisti;Women Directors in Malta; Women’s Rights Foundation; Women Web Entrepreneurs Malta; and the Young Women Christian Association.
#Girl2Leader is a fantastic step towards diversifying our global political sphere, and giving girls the confidence to “Lead like a girl” as the campaign’s slogan says, is where it starts. This incredible coalition of advocacy proves that when banded together for their rights, women are unstoppable.
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