Federal Chancellor Merkel had invited more than 50 women from G7 and developing countries to the two‑day dialogue event at the Federal Chancellery. On 16 September this event, the G7 Forum for Dialogue, was opened by Minister of State Böhmer. Giving women the courage to shape their own lives is one of the goals of the Forum, attended by women from all over the world.
The role of women in peace and security
In her opening address, Ms Böhmer attached great importance to the role of women in peacekeeping and in conflicts. Böhmer referred to UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (on women, peace and security) from the year 2000 as reaffirming that gender equality and the participation and protection of women form an integral part of foreign and security policy. She noted that the aims of the Resolution, including promoting the active involvement of women in all phases of conflict prevention and management as well as protecting women and girls from sexual violence and rape in situations of armed conflict, were now more topical than ever. In view of the crises and conflicts currently besetting the world, all countries are called upon to act. “The more women there are at the negotiating tables, the better the solutions,” said Böhmer.
The role of women in sustainable development
Böhmer also noted that the worldwide 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is due to be adopted in November by the UN member states, “contains very ambitious goals and a comprehensive approach” recognising the significant contribution that women can make. Now everything will depend on how it is implemented, Böhmer told her audience, noting that both women and men would have to act. “We will revise the German Sustainability Strategy accordingly to prepare for implementation at national level. I will continue to work within the Foreign Office to ensure that we provide support in key areas such as establishing peace and security as a prerequisite for development worldwide, keep up our demands for a human rights based approach and focus on good governance.”
Böhmer also mentioned the UN World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995, which she herself had attended. She noted that the spirit of this conference continued to inspire millions of “women, and fortunately men, too,” around the world.
Renowned participants and a broad spectrum of subjects
The Minister of State also expressed her delight that so many outstanding women from the worlds of business, academia and civil society had accepted the Chancellor’s invitation to this exchange of ideas in Berlin. Participants included Queen Rania of Jordan, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, Helen Clark, the head of the UN Development Programme, Margret Chan, the Director General of the World Health Organization, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and Michaelle Jean, Secretary General of the International Organisation of the Francophonie.
The subjects to be addressed at the G7 Forum for Dialogue include technical and vocational education and training for girls and women, self‑employment and economic empowerment, political participation, opportunities for women in the digital world and access for women to primary healthcare.