Women plus power equals change

"Athenian democracy, where only some men had voice, will not do in the 21st century," said Helen Clark recently when addressing the National Assembly of Wales.

Women plus power equals change

Advocating for gender equality and equality of opportunity has been central in Clark's work, earlier as the Prime Minister of New Zealand and now as the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a key organization in the UN System and the gatekeeper of the Millennium Development Goals.

Helen Clark and President Tarja Halonen will be giving The Kapuscinski Development Lectures at the University of Helsinki on Monday 7 May. The topic of the day is European Development Policy.

As the first woman to have led UNDP, and the second to have led New Zealand, Helen Clark knows about paving the way. She sees women as change agents who bring positive impact into positions of power and influence.

Helen Clark cites examples from around the world showing how women's participation in politics at both local and national levels has resulted in a law combatting gender-based violence in Rwanda, endorsement of drinking water projects in India and the provision of free health care and education to adolescent mothers in Costa Rica.

– A huge focus for me as a leader is to contribute to building a more equitable and sustainable world. Gender equality at every level must feature in that world, Helen Clark concludes.

Kapuscinski Development Lectures: President Tarja Halonen and Helen Clark (UNDP) »»

United Nations Development Programme »»

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Text: Anu Hautalampi
Photo: United Nations Development Programme
University of Helsinki, digital communications

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