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This International Women’s Day event, jointly organised by the IIEA and the French Embassy in Ireland, welcomes distinguished panellists, Frances Fitzgerald, Kadiatou Konaré and Najat Vallaud-Belkacem for a conversation, entitled Women in Politics: A Global Perspective on Equality in Representation and Participation in Decision-Making. This panel discussion, moderated by Martina Fitzgerald, focuses on gender equality efforts in Europe and Africa in which panellists will share their visions for a more equal future. H.E. Vincent Guérend, French Ambassador to Ireland, and Mariam Diallo, Cultural Counsellor, will introduce the discussion on behalf of the French Embassy.

About the Speakers:

Frances Fitzgerald is an Irish MEP and long-standing parliamentarian. As a former Tánaiste, she was one of only four women to have held this position. She served as Chair of the National Women’s Council of Ireland, Vice President of the Women’s Lobby and is a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM) and the Development Committee (DEVE).

Kadiatou Konaré is the Minister of Culture, Crafts and Tourism of Mali. She is well known in the world of African publishing, passionate about culture and a human rights activist. She is also founder of the Cauris Livres publishing house as a contribution to African heritage. Under the direction of Malian journalist, Ramata Diaouré, Kadiatou Konaré brought key figures to write the collective work Mars des femmes, chronique d’une revolution malienne (Women’s March – Chronicle of a Malian Revolution).

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem is the France Director of ONE, an NGO campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable diseases. Under President François Hollande’s mandate, she served as Minister for Women’s Rights and Spokesperson. She was also the first female Minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research.