On the occasion of International Women’s Day, on March 7-8, 2023, a working meeting on the topic: "Strengthening young women to make them leaders and ambassadors of peace" was held in Vienna, the capital of Austria, organized by OSCE.
The initiator of the event was OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid. In December 2021, she initiated the formation of the WIN Project, a Networking Platform for Women Leaders, including Peacebuilders and Mediators. This innovative project aims to connect active women from the OSCE region and raise their awareness to become leaders at local and international levels.
The Workshops were held within the framework of this innovative project, and the purpose was to unlock the potential of young activists and share their best practices for advocating.
The event was attended by selected prominent young women peacebuilders from across the OSCE region and Afghanistan. Among them also was Ana Nemsadze, a member of the Women's Information Center team, and coordinator of the security direction of the "Women, Peace and Security" project.
The program included sessions with OSCE employees, within the framework of which the attendees got acquainted with the activities and directions of the OSCE.
The workshops emphasized the critical role of young women in the peace-building process and the importance of increasing the visibility of their contribution. In addition, the mentioned event turned out to be a very good opportunity for the participants to voice their recommendations to the OSCE. In the end, they shared their experiences and agreed to explore future opportunities for collaboration.
It should be noted that each participant was given 5 minutes for the public speech and the first speaker was the representative of Georgia. Anna talked about the activities carried out by WIC, best practices and challenges, as well as the importance of the involvement of young women in peace processes.
Here is an excerpt from her speech:
“Those good practices that I have shared also represent challenges that women and youth are facing. Lack of resources, access to education, and many more. For youth development, we need more sustainable projects to provide better opportunities and target more youth and women living in rural areas.
Nevertheless, seeing those good results, positive feedback, and smiles on women’s and girls’ faces are the greatest motivation that keeps me going. I believe I am doing the right job by having the capacity to change even one person’s life for good - this is my spirit".
It is important that Anna properly used the given platform and spoke about the processes developed in Georgia. She emphasized how his country fought for European values. (referring to the protests caused by the possible adoption of the "Foreign Influence" bill).
“However, it’s noteworthy to mention how much Georgian society struggles nowadays. As you already know on February 20th, a draft law on ´Agents of Foreign Influence´ was submitted to the Georgian parliament. It raises serious concerns about the state of freedom, democracy, and social justice in the country, and compromises hard-won progress in the field of human rights.
As a feminist activist and young peacebuilder, I ask for your support. I hope that the following actions, regarding the draft law will not harm society and especially, WOMEN, who truly are the strongest actors of positive change. I would love to thank you once more the Secretary-General for launching this Initiative. I hope our network of young women peacebuilders will stay active and am open to collaboration.”
Last but not least - Women Can! Women Act! Women Change!