Following the parallel event eighty women and men from U.S., Canada, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines gathered at the UN Delegates Dining Room to participate in a celebratory luncheon sponsored by WFWPI. The theme was: The role of Women's NGOs in Achieving MDG #3, Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women. Mrs. Motoko Sugiyama served as MC. WFWPI President, Professor Lan Young Moon Park gave welcoming remarks.
His Excellency, Ambassador Antonio Gumende, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Mozambique to the UN, provided opening remarks on the theme of the role of women's NGOs in achieving MDG #3. He believes that solving violence against women is central to women's empowerment. The NGOs' role is important to question myths throughout society through activism and research. These organizations can put pressure on governments to face issues that develop and act to eliminate inequality.
Keynote speaker, Ms. Lopa Banerjee, Chief Civil Society Section, UN Women gave a riveting speech on progress toward MDGs. It has been a struggle to fulfill some of the aspirations in areas of women's health and education. The goals for gender equality still remain unfulfilled. Gender parity in primary schools, but still gender inequality exists in work, education, and the economy. Ms. Banerjee insisted there be a commitment to achieve gender equality, especially moving forward into the post 2015 development agenda. There should be strong goals to achieve women's rights. She suggests that these goals should get rid of discriminatory laws, social norms and various policies that create inequality. She hopes that women can exercise their voice through the efforts being made at the UN. When asked how WFWPI could support the work of UN Women, she strongly recommended connecting with UN Women's over fifty in country offices or the more than 70 affiliate offices around the world, and particularly stressed joining together in the work of forming the post 2015 development agenda.