Let your voice, your solutions, your ideas be heard around the
world. You can be one of the 1400 women influencing the
United Nations and governments around the world through the output
of a series of Global Women's Summits in 14 international
In each city, the Summit is open to only 100 women. That's
because 10 tables of 10 women mean everyone has a chance for
meaningful input. You can share your ideas, problems and solutions
with other like-minded women.
Zealand's Summit will be held in Auckland on August 6th. The
other countries holding Summits are Australia, Brazil, Canada,
China, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Netherlands, Singapore, Sri Lanka,
U.K., and U.S.A.
The three topics chosen for discussion at all Global Women's
How can we…
- Acknowledge similarities and respect differences?
- Strengthen women's roles for increased peace and development in
communities, nations, and the world?
- Live in dignity and contribute to the well-being of women and
families in communities, nations, and the world? (This issue will
vary widely from country to country).
Dr Paula Fellingham is the driving
force behind the Summits and will participate in the Auckland event
as part of her 14 city research for a report to the UN. She will
listen, learn and share with New Zealand women ideas, challenges
and opportunities to create a world without poverty and hunger, and
a world with more enjoyment through increased peace on earth.
Paula, a grandmother of 18, has a PhD in Human Relations and is
CEO of The Women's
Information Network (The WIN). At the heart of The WIN lies a
mission to strengthen women and families worldwide, a mission that
Paula believes is massive in its potential to truly enlighten
women's minds and empower women's hearts on a global scale.
Paula wants The WIN to be more than one another women's
organization, overlapping with what others are doing. The WIN's
events must have long-term impact on the lives of participants and
the women and families in their nations.
The Global Summits are the second international event series for
The WIN. On 8th March 2011, The WIN celebrated the International
Women's Day Centenary with 377 events in 152 countries.
When asked, I was delighted to co-ordinate the Auckland Global
Women's Summit. Like Paula, I believe that women make a
difference. Women use passion and purpose to create, direct,
influence and shape governments, businesses and communities. Women
do the activities that make a real difference for more people.
I joined The WIN online in January 2011 because I believe in
"networlding", a term used to describe networking on-line and
across countries. I liked The WIN's mission and believe that
collaboration and co-operation with support make a
difference. My G.O.O.S.E. (Get Out of Stuck Excel) radio program is
on their site.
For the International Woman's Day Centenary, I also worked
on The WIN's event in New Zealand. For our celebration, Mayor Len
Brown opened the Matatau Maori Business Centre and honoured Dame
Georgina Kirby, Judith Speight, and Deborah Bush for their work for
women in this country.
Developing the concept
The Global Women's Summits idea began to form in the spring of
Paula committed to create a WIN event that could make a true
difference for women worldwide. Reflecting on the decades that she
had worked with women globally, she knew that meeting face-to-face
(and heart-to-heart) was the best way to really connect. Therefore,
the first step would involve going from country to country and
meeting with women to learn exactly how she could best support
Next, she called on her long-time friend and mentor, Ambassador
Mokhtar Lamani. The Ambassador is the former Director of the
Islamic Organization Conference at the United Nations and is an
internationally acclaimed advocate for peace and an expert in
The first day they spent together he shared with Paula his
experiences with governments and women-related issues in many
countries. The Ambassador asked an important question - how was The
WIN different to other organizations that took their messages to
Paula's gave her view of The WIN's uniqueness. "Unlike many
others, we empower the women in each country and give their experts
a platform instead of assuming we know what they need. The WIN
connects with women experts and leaders in each nation and helps
them share their messages in person at events, and on a large
network online. We especially encourage our speakers, experts and
leaders to offer solutions to the challenges women in their
The Ambassador then asked a more important question: How would
the lives of women in each country be significantly improved two
years after they'd attended a Global Women's Summit because of what
Paula didn't know and the Ambassador offered his insight: "Your
mission is helping others, so there is no personal or political
agenda to complicate things. The women will feel safe and willing
to share their hearts because they are looking for solutions to
their problems. The WIN can be extremely helpful if, after the
Summits, you follow through and take the participants' suggestions
and ideas to local and national leaders… those who are in positions
of influence and power."
This step is a core plank of the Summits' plan. As the Global Women's Summit site
Leaders usually pay attention to the ideas and suggestions made
by large groups of women, and The WIN will follow through after the
Our desire and hope is to initiate positive change relative to
each nation's issues.
3 key Summit topics
The Ambassador made a final suggestion: "At each Summit, women
could discuss the same three initiatives; talk about things that
are important to all women in all nations."
Paula believes that women in all nations know the answers to
these questions. They know how they want their roles strengthened;
they know how they'd like to live in dignity and contribute to the
well-being of others. What they need are for their voices to be
heard by those who can truly help and support them.
NZ's Global Summit
The speakers and panellists range widely from women with
corporate, business and entrepreneurial backgrounds to those with
cultural skills and perspectives. This mix reflects the broad
issues the Summit is tackling.
The speakers will offer their solutions to the challenges women
face in our communities and our country. Auckland's speakers are
myself, talking about the challenges facing mature women, Grace
Haden talking about the importance of protecting ourselves legally,
and Mary Aue on the challenges facing young women, especially our
The panel members are:
- Robyn Clements, who is a founder and immediate past Chair of
the 2500+ member Dairy Women's Network, and who has sat as a
Fonterra Shareholder Councillor
- Judith Speight of Accelerate Aotearoa, 1 of 4 women invited by
the US Government to represent New Zealand at the first APEC
Women's Entrepreneurial Summit in Gifu, Japan
- Hinurewa Te Hau, a cultural practitioner, who is now
responsible for the development of the Matatau Maori Business
Centre, the first ever Maori Business Centre in the Auckland
- Janis Grummitt of Workplace Wisdom, who has had a long
corporate career and founded an international movement called Wise
Society to optimise opportunities for wisdom in our aging
In addition to the speakers and core discussions, the Summit's
agenda also has time for music and networking. More details on
the event and how to book are available here.
I look forward to seeing you there!