Remarks by Ambassador Dogu
March 7, 2017
First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks for inviting me to participate in this special program. I very much enjoyed the music and the beautiful voices of the choir, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the graphic art team and theatre group will present. In addition to being an institution of academic excellence, it is clear that the Universidad de Ciencias Comerciales (UCC) also has talented students in the field of the arts.
Tomorrow, the world will celebrate International Women’s Day, and for me, it’s wonderful to know that UCC is celebrating this day to advance women’s issues.
Women’s participation in business is fundamental. When women are empowered through education, training or funding, the benefits impact all parts of society. In spite of this fact, gender gaps still exist in most countries, particularly in the economy. Women are still paid less than men and are still in charge of household responsibilities. The World Economic Forum now predicts the gender gap will not close entirely until 2186. That is why this year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “Be Bold for Change”.
I have a question for all of you – the youth – male and female — who are the future of Nicaragua, and the entrepreneurs who are the innovators – are you all willing to act in creative and bold ways to make a difference for women?
Let’s assume you are willing to Be Bold for Change and just want to know how to do so. Here are a few ideas to get started.
For business owners, check to see if women are paid the same as men.
During conferences or other public events, ensure that women’s voices are heard and included. I frequently see panels where only men are participating. We should all ask that women experts participate in such panels.
Similarly, I’d ask: Why is it easier to find in the media photos of women that focus on their bodies rather than their intellectual skills? In order to show our rejection of such practices, we should not buy these publications.
There are other ways to Be Bold for Change. You can decide to buy from companies who support women’s issues and refuse to buy from companies that are not fair to women. You can mentor the next generation of women by bringing them to meetings and events as equals. You can publicly recognize women role models in their various fields. And you can help more women achieve more and better education in all fields, not just those traditionally assigned to women.
These are actions which any of us can do on any day. I am glad that tomorrow we will celebrate International Women’s Day to highlight the issues that are important for women. But, we must take concrete steps every day in order to reach the equality that we aspire to.
Personally, I fell very committed to this cause. The Embassy is proud to support women, entrepreneurs, and universities that help create a more prosperous, secure, and democratic Nicaragua. Thank you again for this opportunity to speak with you all.
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