On the occasion of International Women’s Day
Hosted by Geraldine Kunstadter
Reception and Program
New York, NY | March 5, 2007

“Attitudes continue to become more encouraging for women, but also women are setting more ambitious targets for themselves. I think really it’s a factor of social change in all our societies, whether we are talking developed or developing countries. It’s social change that is narrowing the educational gap, and also the fact that there are a lot more role models around. We have a lot of advantages that our earlier generations didn’t have. However we still rely on organizations like the Women’s Foreign Policy Group to bring us together, and to make that space for serious debate, for encouraging each other, and for telling our stories. When I think about that, it’s also an opportunity to remember the pioneers of the women who really did blaze the trail in the modern age.” -H.E. Rosemary Banks, Ambassador of New Zealand to the U.N.

“The reason why I became a member of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group is something that might be of interest: I felt powerless. I felt powerless when I saw how women were doing in the world, and I’m not speaking of us, the privileged, in the United States, in Europe, in Australia, and in New Zealand, and in a few other countries. I am speaking of the other women: the ones who commit suicide everyday because they cannot survive, the ones who cannot go to school because the Taliban locked the doors, and the ones who are purchased as child soldiers, get violated, or get beaten up. All the women in war situations are so powerless, and I know that we have to plug in somewhere in a network to get working.
I think solidarity is sometimes lacking between women, even in our countries when it’s bringing women to the top. But I want this solidarity and I care for it. I think [the Women’s Foreign Policy Group] leads us to interesting speakers, or other interesting networks, and one network has to meet the other network. That is why I am so happy that you bring my colleagues here, because I also hope that they will all join this.” -Renilde Loeckx-Drozdiak, Consul General of Belgium, WFPG Member

Consuls General Renilde Loeckx-Drozdiak of Belgium and
Liv Mrch Finborud of Norway with PatriciaEllis and 
Ambassador Rosemary Banks of New Zealand to the UN

WFPG Board Members Dawn Calabia and Gail Kitch
with Hostess Geri Kunstadter, Ed Kitch, and Patricia Ellis

From left to right: Kirsty Graham, Deputy Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the UN; H.E. Karen Pierce, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the UN; H.E. Solveiga Silkalna, Ambassador of Latvia to the UN; Jessica Odle, Consul General of Barbados; Cecilia Rebong, Consul General of the Philippines; Alenka Sudhadolnik, Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia

View Celebrating Women Diplomats page