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Happy New Year!
A look back at our first 9 months of operations & a look ahead to 2016!

Happy New Year!   Here’s to 2016!    With a look back at the very first year
(well, technically 9 months)   of Women@TheTable’s work.  
with love from Caitlin & Women@TheTable
2015.   Our Salon Series launched, and the first of the series, the Leadership Salon inspired the creation of the Geneva Gender Champions.   30 heads of International Organizations based in Geneva,  45 Ambassadors and NGO leaders have joined this leadership network since October bringing together female & male decision-makers to break down gender barriers.
Our Executive Director produced  two conferences for the
Women & Trade Programme of the International Trade Centre, one in São Paulo in September (in conjunction with their partner Apex-Brasil): The Trailblazers’ Summit and  WVEF 2015: From the Earth to the Cloud,  and the other in Nairobi in December, hosted by the Government of Kenya and the International Trade Centre  in conjunction with the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference:  The First International Forum on Women in Business. 
We programmed, consulted, curated and collaborated with other wonderful partners including Julienne Lusenge and Fonds Femmes Congolaises,  did a video project, programmed on the Fringe at Skoll, and made new alliances including one with Women’s Constitutional Voices.

Read on for more,  including first news for the new year.  
With best wishes for some game changing movement towards gender equality in 2016
SALONS         Women@TheTable hosted a series of Salons with the Future She Deserves, an initiative of the US Mission in Geneva. The curated lunchtime Salons  harnessed the creativity and expertise of International Geneva, designed to be held  away from silos to strategize and move more women to the table.
 
In March our first Salon focused on Leadership and inspired the formation of the Geneva Gender Champions,  
Our June Salon on Health focused on The Whole Girl, in anticipation of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030. 
Our September Salon on the Economy was co-hosted with the World Bank Group featuring Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director of the  Global Indicators Group direct from Washington for the Geneva launch of Women, Business and The Law 2016: Getting to Equal, an epic collection of data and research that measures legal and regulatory barriers to women’s entrepreneurship and employment in 173 economies.
            An outcome from the Salon is a 2016 collaboration between the World Bank Group and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the world organization of Parliaments.    We are thrilled to report that there will be presentations of the ground breaking Women, Business and The Law at various Parliamentarian gatherings throughout 2016, increasing impact and making data on laws harmful to women directly link to the parliamentarians who can and must change those laws.
In November,  our final 2015 Salon focused on the voices of girls and featured Girl Be Heard, a theatre troupe from New York who created original content and lent their voices for this unique edition of the Salon Series. 
 
SALONS 2016 Beginning in February. Our first Salon:

Men & Boys, Women & Girls: Preventing Gender-Based Violence 
featuring special guest catalyzer:   
 Nazir Afzal OBE, former Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West of England.
GENEVA GENDER CHAMPIONS        Motivated by the Leadership Salon, a group consisting of the UNITED NATIONS OFFICE IN GENEVA, the UNITED STATES MISSION, and WOMEN@TheTABLE 
created the GENEVA GENDER CHAMPIONS.  
 
Our initial centerpiece being the Geneva Panel Parity Pledge where Champions (initially Heads of International Organizations and Ambassadors headquartered in Geneva)  pledge to not sit on same sex panels, be they all male or all female.
In addition  Champions compose 2 individualized  targeted  commitments for their organization.
 
1 July  the Geneva Gender Champions was launched at the Palais des Nations at lunchtime headlined by UNOG Director General, Champion, Michael Møller, and US Permanent Representative to UNOG and the International Organizations in Geneva, Champion, Ambassador Pamela Hamamoto.
 Strong and moving statements about the critical need for gender equality came from the floor from the Director General of the International Organization for Migration, William Swing;  President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer;  representatives from the Director Generals of the ILO, WIPO, WMO, and theAmbassadors from Australia, Japan and Viet Nam amongst others.
 
8 September saw our first Working Group meeting with over 100 participants at the Palais to discuss organization’s SMART commitments in addition to the Panel Parity Pledge. 
 
30 September the first cohort of International Organization Director Generals, and Secretary Generals,  and Ambassadors shared their publicly accountable commitments.   They are an absolutely stellar group of devoted,  unswerving advocates who we are grateful and thrilled to be working alongside.  
 
By 30 December our numbers have swelled to 80 organizations with 30 Heads of International Organizations, and 45 Ambassadors… with an invitation to Civil Society to join us in our work.
 
Geneva Gender Champions in 2016 will see us combine forces with Professor Linda Scott’s Double XX Economy team from the Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford as we explore how best to evaluate and measure our impact and scale.
In addition to all of the above, in 2015 Women@TheTable was busy with:
 
A video project during
the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)’s 100  year anniversary Women Stop War Conference, and the Nobel Women’s Initiative Defending the Defenders Conference,  both held in The Hague. We interviewed an astonishing array of women from conflict zones  from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Palestine, Pakistan, India, Mexico, Guatemala, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Nigeria and 3 remarkable Nobel Peace Laureates - Mairead Maguire, Jody Williams and Shirin Ebadi - on their courage, transformation into activists, and building peace.
 
A StoryCorps audio project with women activists interviewing one another, in collaboration with Media Matters for Women, also captured  voices of activism and change with women fromthe Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Iran, the UK, the Netherlands, and the US.

 
In April in Oxford at  Marmalade on the Fringe at Skoll we held our first Mistletoe event programming and  moderating Women@TheTable: The Cutting Edge with an outrageously wonderful group of women leaders with road warrior strategic plans and deeply authentic voices:Meagan Fallone, CEO of Barefoot College, scaling the Barefoot revolutionary rural model around the world; Musimbi Kanyoro, President & CEO of The Global Fund for Women, campaigning to put women + technology #BeTheSpark front + center; Antonella Notari Vischer, Director of Womanity Foundation ground breaking work in Afghanistan, Brazil, Middle East + North Africa; Jensine Larsen, Founder of World Pulse digitally connecting women worldwide & giving voice to the voiceless, and Sharon Bylenga, Founder, Media Matters for Women, connecting rural women to information + community through technology. 
In September and December our Founder/Executive Director consulted for and was Executive Producer for two Conferences for the International Trade Centre’s Women & Trade Programme's visionary Director, Vanessa Erogbogbo.
 
September, the ITC Trailblazers Summit, held in São Paulo in conjunction with APEX-Brasil involved spring and summer work pre-drafting , discussing, disseminating and launching  ITC’s Call to Action in advance of the convening of a one day Summit.  The Call to Action focuses on eight pillars: Data collection, analysis and dissemination; Trade Policy; Public Procurement; Corporate Procurement; Certification; Supply-side Constraints; Financial Services; and Ownership Rights in order to put One Million Women Entrepreneurs into the Marketplace by 2020
 
The Trailblazers’ Summit of governments, civil society and the private sector focused on collaboration and action plans emanating from the Call To Action, and resulted in commitments from the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), Vital Voices, Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders Scorecard (sponsored by Dell), SDI International, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) International, the Madhya Pradesh Association of Women Entrepreneurs in India, Pacific Gas & Electric, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, BPW Turkey, the UN Global Compact, the World Trade Organization.
 
Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum  (WVEF) 2016 : From the Earth to the Cloud brought together women entrepreneurs from around the globe and followed on the next two days in São Paulo, also in conjunction with APEX-Brasil.
For the epic Opening Ceremony:  The Entrepreneurs:   Dr  Anna  Myokogong, medical doctor, serial entrepreneur and South Africa’s most successful businesswoman; Brazil’s most successful businesswoman Janete Vaz, co-founder of Sabin Laboratories;  Carmen Castillo.  CEO of SDI a service company that is one of the world’s largest woman-owned, minority-owned corporations; and India’sArchana  Bynatnagar;   The Founding Partners with ITC of the WVEF: the International Women’s Coffee Alliance; The International Federation Of Business & Professional Women (BPW); We Connect International; and Quantum Leaps; and the Champions of Change: ITC’s own Executive DirectorArancha González moving the needle for women and trade worldwide, Yesim Sevig,  Secretary-General of Kadiger, of Turkey who almost single handedly had the women’s agenda added as an official working group of the G20, and Anna Illy Belci whose work with women coffee entrepreneurs has empowered the lives of so many.    
 
The Closing Ceremony featured the winners of ITC’s First Tech Challenge, (yes! 21st century here we come) held in conjunction with Google, featuring finalists from Brazil, Costa Rica, Thailand, Kenya and the Winning App,  (that was developed and unveiled in December in Nairobi. see below.)
October saw Women@TheTable’s relationship with Fonds Femmes Congolaises and French Legion of Honor Recipient Julienne Lusenge expand as we worked with Lusenge on her speech to the UN Security Council in New York on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of UNSC Resolution 1325 ( Lusenge being one of three women from civil society asked to speak before that august body); Lusenge’s interventions on behalf of the UN at the World Humanitarian Summit preparatory meetings in Geneva on two High Level Panels on Women & Security;  and an Executive Briefing and an additional Public Discussion  on the situation of women  in the DRC for  the Geneva Centre for Security Policy at the Maison de la Paix supported by Ambassador Urs Schmid, Ambassador Alexandre Fasel and Andrea Aeby of the Swiss Mission, and the French Mission to the UN in Geneva.
 
 In 2016,  We look forward to making an original piece of radio programming happen with Julienne Lusenge, Hirondelle USA, and Radio Okapi, highlighting African issues from an African woman’s perspective, making those issues vibrant  and clear, and perhaps helping to promote an authentic African Oprah along the way.
December, in Nairobi, involved the first International Forum on Women in Business Forum:Fostering Innovation, Internationalization And Scale Of Women-Owned Businesses hosted by the Government of Kenya and the International Trade Centre (ITC) in conjunction with the 10thWTO Ministerial Conference. Convened to discuss policies and actions to increase the participation of women in trade, the jam-packed day long event featured (amongst others as speakers!) President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; Deputy President Joseph Ruto of Kenya; Cabinet Secretary Dr. Amina Mohamed of Kenya; Secretary General of UNCTAD; Director General of the UN Office in Nairobi; Deputy Director General of the WTO; Secretary General of the East African Community; Ministers from Barbados, Sweden, Finland, Norway, the UK, Zambia, Lesotho, the Netherlands; the private sector’s Barclays, Google, Coca Cola, Thomson Reuters; bad ass female entrepreneurs from Mongolia, Namibia, South Africa, the US, and Kenya; and media partners CCTV Africa and The Guardian.  It was an extraordinary day.
Finally in 2015,  Women@TheTable was thrilled to enter into the beginning of a long term collaboration with Women’s Constitutional Voices  to applaud the women (and men) who have played critical roles at every level of society to build constitutions that promote peace and gender justice – often at the frontlines of militarism and extremism. Because women’s vital contributions have largely gone unrecognized and under-resourced “Voices” aims to ensure that women’s vital contributions are both honored and celebrated.  We look forward to the next twelve months and hope you don’t mind if we check in with you from time to time to keep you posted on what we are up to.
 
Warm Regards,
Meilleurs Voeux, & a Happy 2016
Caitlin and the Women@TheTable Team

 
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