European Development Days 2018

European Development Days 2018

June 5 2018 | Brussels, Belgium

The European Development Days, organized by the European Commission held in June 2018, brought global leader in the development community together to exchange ideas and experiences to create innovative solutions.

Founder Director Nidhi Goyal was invited to speak on 3 panels. The first panel was titled, “A moderated dialogue on Shrinking Democratic Space for Civil Society”. She spoke alongside Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director andJoanna Maycock, Secretary General of the European Women’s Lobby, member of the UN Women’s Executive Director Civil Society Advisory Group.

EDD - Brussels - June - 2018: 5 people, 2 men and 3 women are in front of a hoarding which has the following words: Concord (in yellow and red). European NGO confederation for relief and development. One Voice for a just and sustainable world. There are silhouettes of people holding banners on the hoarding. A man in a brown jacket, Nidhi in a red top and another woman in a light blue shirt are standing with arms around each and in front of them is a woman in a black jacket is on a wheelchair and on the left is a man is light blue shirt is on a wheelchair. They are all posing for the camera.

They discussed the crucial roles of women’s rights activists in the growing hostility towards civic society and the global threats to the women rights movements in the current atmosphere.

The second panel was titled, “Amplifying girls’ and women’s voices in the global movement for gender equality”. We made an organized intervention around amplifying voices of girls with disabilities from the floor, where the panelists included, Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of Plan International; Phumzilé Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women; Sophia Pierre-Antoine, FRIDA; Stavros Lambrinidis, European Unions Special Representative for Human Rights; Olaoluwa Abagun, Young leader; Laura Bergshoef, Girls’ rights activist and Caroline Harper, Head of Social Development programme at the Overseas Development Institute.

The panel explored how to promote the participation and collective leadership of girls and women within the broader movement for gender equality. It concluded that the scale of change needed will only be possible if all members of the movement work together and strategized to ensure that those who are most impacted by rights violations are the ones leading the movement.

The landmark contribution that we made was Nidhi’s participation on the high level Closing Panel of the European Development Days along with Kristalina Georgieva – CEO, World Bank Group; Dr Denis Mukwege – Mukwege Foundation; Jayathma Wickramanayake – UN SG Envoy on Youth; Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat and Rumen Radev – President of Bulgaria. For the first time in the history of the European Development Days, a civil society voice of a disabled person was included and considered.

The closing panel summarized discussions held in the various High-level panels, it also covered all the trending topics discussed during the EDD and highlighted the way in which gender equality and women empowerment were at the centre of the discussions.

EDD - Brussels - June - 2018: Five people, 1 man and 4 women are sitting in front of a large whiteboard on a stage. The board has the following written: #EDD18, and a logo. This is spread all over the board. Nidhi is sitting second from the right in a red shirt and black jacket. She is holding the microphone and addressing an audience. The woman on her right is in a grey pant suit, the woman on her left is wearing a black saree, a man sitting next to the lady in the saree is in a dark blue pant suit and the lady on the extreme left is in beige pants and a black top and jacket.
EDD - Brussels - June - 2018: There are two people in focus, a man’s back who seems to be talking to Nidhi. Nidhi in a light pink top is looking at the man and holding her cane. On the left, there is a phone attached to a stand.