In early December, I attended the 50×50 Women in Public Service, learned that only 22% of seats in public office today are held by women, and heard from global leaders around the world about how we can get more women running for office. It was here I met the dynamic Yomi Abiola who is now a dear friend. I concluded the event by performing some of my music and speaking about why I personally believe that we must have more women in office.
“The Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) celebrated its five-year anniversary by hosting a luncheon conversation about the data and partnerships necessary to achieve our 50×50 goal on Wednesday, December 7. The event convened leaders from the public and private sectors to discuss the roles of data and public-private partnerships in the movement toward global parity in public service leadership. This conversation took place through three panels and a musical performance from Madame Gandhi, and continued beyond the event through podcasts recorded by Natalia Brzezinski, host of Brilliant Minds podcast.
The event concluded with a speech and musical performance by artist and activist Kiran Gandhi, performing as Madame Gandhi. Ms. Gandhi said that going to an all-girls K-12 school, “I didn’t think feminism was an issue” because everyone—including the leaders—were girls. However, she said, this perception changed when she attended Georgetown University as an undergraduate. She spoke about the impact a women’s studies class in college had on her, calling women’s studies a “powerful subject,” and how she broke into music as a form of feminist activism. She explained that in her education, as an MBA student at Harvard, she learned the importance of “owning your voice.” “How do I elevate and celebrate the female voice to empower those who I work with?” she asked.
Following a musical performance by Madame Gandhi, Gwen K. Young gave closing remarks. “I look forward to working with all of you in the future,” said Ms. Young, “please form that collaboration, that vision and energy that we need.” – http://www.50x50movement.org/event/50×50-5-years
The Women in Public Service Project will accelerate global progress towards women’s equal participation in policy and political leadership to create more dynamic and inclusive institutions that leverage the full potential of the world’s population to change the way global solutions are forged.