Women, Leadership and Human Rights

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    Lydia Malmedie
    Participant

    Happy belated international women’s day!

    When I was in Brussels last weekend, I had an interesting conversation with other alumni about why, when there are usually at least 80% women in each E.MA year group, is it still often men in top human rights positions? My feeling is that to many people, but perhaps in particular women, interested in human rights, it seems more virtuous to be at the front line, work ‘in the field’, ‘really make a difference’ rather than what many would see as pushing paper around in some headquarter. Furthermore, those interested in living human rights might also be very critical of any form of ‘leadership’ which is regarded, in its traditional form, as an oppressive, hierarchical structure, rather than a positive feature which can provide causes and groups with steering, structure and therefore also enable people to participate who might not otherwise be able to make themselves heard within ‘flat hierarchies’.

    So, do you think this is an issue? Do we need to try and actively ‘change’ leadership structures? If so, how could perhaps the E.MAlumni Association and GCA help with that?

    I am very interested in your thoughts.

    Best,

    Lydia

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