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.
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.