By: Erica Andriamaherimanana
This year’s Social Good Summit boasted some of the biggest names in politics, tech, media and entertainment. While diverse in professional and personal backgrounds, each speaker came with a message, and more importantly, an action committed towards a common vision for the year 2030. But perhaps what was most impressive was the amount of female figures leading the initiatives for sustainable development goal achievement. Women and girls from the global community came to claim their place at the table during the summit and thereby demonstrated the importance of female leadership/presence in our communities. They were unapologetic visionaries seeking to break greater glass ceilings and elevate the status of women within and outside their communities.
Kicking off the summit was comedian and activist Chelsea Handler who had a fierce message, “get on a soapbox and scream!” This message was echoed and extrapolated on by United Nations Development Program Administrator (UNDP) Helen Clark along with Former President Joyce Banda of Malawi during the panel on Women and Global leadership. When asked for advice on women facing adversity in career building opportunities, her Excellency Ms. Banda stated the following, “when you get to the top, don’t forget to drop the ladder” because there are others still climbing up. Her Excellency Ms. Clark quickly followed with, “look straight ahead, stand your ground, and say I can do this.” Ladies, take note, this is free and quality advice from the woman running (and fiercely doing so) for Secretary General!
Young women as well chimed in on the conversation. Muzoon Aimellehan and Zaynab Abdi, campaigners of the Malala fund are on a mission to support girls’ education and end child marriages. In addition, the new class of UN young leaders in Sustainable Development Goal (with a represented female majority!) expressed their excitement on injecting the female perspective within the intergenerational work being done for SDG achievement. Although young, these ladies are already leaders within the areas of development they are most passionate about!