As paradoxical as it may seem, the goal of celebrating National Women’s Month is to one day create a world that doesn’t need National Women’s Month. But so long as power structures and cultural norms provide obstacles for women simply doing their jobs, countries around the globe will continue the fight for gender equality within all industries. One of the main educational institutions leading the charge for our region is Asia Society, which has been active for over 60 years, and currently holds office in 12 cities: Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Washington, D.C., Zurich, and Manila.
This year, Asia Society Philippine Foundation, Inc. aims to lead by example. They will host a series of events throughout the month of March, highlighting the essential presence of women in typically male-dominated industries. The events kick off with the Ambassador Series: Women in Diplomacy, which will be held on March 13 at Manila House. The first of four dialogue-style events, the Ambassador Series will bring together five prominent women in the field of international diplomacy. The keynote speaker will be Ambassador Delia Albert, the first woman career diplomat to become Secretary of Foreign Affairs in Asia, as well as Chair of the UN Security Council in 2004.
L-R: Ambassador Delia Albert, Her Excellency Kok Li Peng, Her Excellency Aruni Ranaraja, Her Excellency Andrea Reichlin
Also speaking will be Her Excellency Kok Li Peng, Ambassador from the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore, who will address bridging the gender gap as one of Asia’s most prosperous economies. Her Excellency Aruni Ranaraja from Sri Lanka will speak about improving women’s rights. Her Excellency Andrea Reichlin from Switzerland, will focus on how women empowerment efforts in her home country have helped Switzerland as a whole. And finally, Her Excellency Esra Cankorur, Ambassador from the Embassy of Turkey, will speak on improving women participation, as informed by her 28 years of service.
Following the March 13 event, Asia Society Philippines will also be hosting Kulinarya Dinner Series: Margarita Forés on March 15, which brings to life through a seven-course meal the recipes found in the institution’s own Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine. And on March 21, a networking/mixer event, Asia Society Conversations: Leading Women, will be held at Acceler8, 111 Paseo de Roxas. The mixer will be led by women from non-traditional industries (technology, automotives, finance, and aviation), but will bring power to young professionals, providing them a space to exchange their own ideas for empowering women today.