On March 8, in honor of International Women’s Day, the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, with support from the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD), hosted the EMPOWERING YOUNG WOMEN conference at the Câmara de Comércio e Indústria Portuguesa in Lisbon. Ambassador Glass opened the conference underscoring the U.S., “commitment to women’s empowerment and gender equality extends beyond statements and ceremonies. On International Women’s Day, and every day, we work to advance the rights of women and girls, well aware that when we do, we all win.”
The conference offered 15-19 year-old Portuguese girls an educational, interactive and dynamic platform to promote awareness and education on gender equality and women’s empowerment across a range of fields. Both established women leaders from Portugal and the United States, as well as the Portuguese participants shared their ideas, experiences, and challenges. The conference also served to launch the 2018 application season for the Embassy’s exchange program Women2Women, which will send two young Portuguese women to Boston for a week long international leadership program this July.
From the United States, Seema Hingorani, founder of “Girls Who Invest”, Kori Schake, Deputy Director General of International Institute for Strategic Studies, and Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Christina Sevilla spoke to the participants about their experiences. From Portugal, Helena Bicho Subdiretor General for National Defense Policy at the Ministry of Defense, Journalist Catarina Rodrigues, and Entrepreneur Sandra Correia also provided their unique perspectives.
In addition female ambassadors from 13 countries, all members of the Association of Women Ambassadors in Lisbon, engaged the participants in small group discussions on leadership.
The conference also included hands on workshops on developing your personal “brand” organized by Junior Achievement Portugal, a screening of American documentary “The Empowerment Project” and a virtual discussion with the films’ director and producer, and a panel discussion led by Embaixatriz Mary Glass on leadership and service with alumni from an Embassy-sponsored exchange program for young women leaders. The Embassy also announced they will again sponsor two young women to participate in the Women 2 Women International Leadership Program in Boston and that applications are now open for girls 15-19
The day concluded with closing remarks from the Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Herro Mustafa, speaking about her 8 life lessons for the young women.
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