On 10 September, in collaboration with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, the ALDE Party hosted a virtual Liberal Breakfast with a focus on gender equality in order to highlight the work of the European Women’s Academy and the Female Forward campaign.
Renew Europe MEPs Liesje Schreinemacher (VVD, The Netherlands) and Monica Semedo (DP, Luxembourg) led the discussion on how to work together as a society to move past policies, such as mandatory quotas, and create a culture that will foster true equality and empowerment instead. Subjects relating to gender equality, such as intersectionality and the importance of empowering children were also discussed.
Speaking from personal experience, Liesje Schreinemacher highlighted how men can support women in the fight for equality, through personal relationships in particular: for example, as a child, Schreinemacher’s father would pick her and her sisters up from school so that her mother could go to work. “Don’t make this a female issue. Be a man and fight for women,” Schreinemacher urged the audience.
The panellists also discussed the importance of encouraging children – and especially girls – from a young age to believe in themselves and to have the confidence to chase their dreams. On this, Monica Semedo noted that before the lockdown, she would consistently visit schools in Luxembourg to talk to students about her political career and to show them the importance of working towards goals. “Young girls should be encouraged to have an independent life, so that they can choose whatever they want to do in their life,” she noted.
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