International Women's Day 202109/03/2021

March 8 is International Women's Rights Day, formalized in 1977 by the United Nations. It is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Despite the fact that women's rights are an integral part of human rights, many women still see their rights challenged, limited or reduced. The 8th of March is therefore a focal point in the movement for women's rights and marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

For years now, Wallonie-Bruxelles International (WBI), the public administration responsible for international relations of Wallonia-Brussels (Belgium), has been implicated in international initiatives and projects in favor of gender parity. This aspect is also illustrated by the place the women have inside the organization as well as through the cooperation projects supported in priority countries.  

This year, at the occasion of the International Women's Rights Day, WBI wanted to highlight the achievements of five women across the globe who are engaged in feminist struggles or who have succeeded in traditionally male areas, despite the obstacles and the glass ceiling observed in their domain of activity. These 5 women are:

1. Gagandeep Kang (India) - She is an Indian vaccine and enteric disease specialist. In 2016, she received the prestigious Infosys Prize for her rotavirus research in India and is the first Indian woman to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2019.

2. Pía Barros (Chile) – She is one of the most active and renowned writers of contemporary Chilean literature. Her name is closely linked to feminist literature. Through her literary initiatives and political activism, Ms. Barros calls for the advent of a just and egalitarian society that would eradicate domestic and gender violence.

3. Nathalie Fagel (Belgium) – She is a Belgian geologist expert in clay mineralogy and sedimentary geochemistry. She is Director of the “Clays, geochemistry and sedimentary environment” research unit at ULiège.

4. Christiani Amorim (Brazil) - She has a doctorate in animal reproduction. Since 2007, she has been working with pre-human follicles. Her main goal is to create a transplantable artificial ovary to restore fertility in cancer patients.

5. Anita Sengupta (USA) - She is an aerospace engineer and pilot, for more than 20 years she has been developing technologies that have enabled the exploration of the planet Mars, asteroids and space. She worked at NASA and was responsible for the supersonic parachute system that enabled the Curiosity robot to land on Mars.

To frame and conclude the initiative, Madam Pascale Delcomminette, Chief Executive Officer of Wallonie-Bruxelles International and the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency delivers her views on the importance of that day and the role these administrations plays in women empowerment and through the international projects financed by Wallonia and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.

Discover all the testimonials through the dedicated Youtube channel: