This weeks SoroptiVoice blog comes from Leigh Ellwood-Brown, SI Organisational Development Committee Chair. Leigh talks about a recent trip to Beijing, a trip which was historically relevant and shows the great relationships that SI build with other women’s organisations around the world.
To keep our contact and connection with the All China Women’s Federation, (ACWF), Karen Ford our SISWP Treasurer and an SISWP Consultant to the SI Board in 2012, and I called into Beijing on our way home from the SI Board meeting held in Europe.
The long standing relationship and friendship built with ACWF over a 14 year period is very important to us. We, SI, were first invited into China by ACWF to participate in the Forum ‘’Follow up Actions to the Fourth World Conference for Women” held in Beijing in 1998. SI decided that it should be SISWP that should represent them at this Forum. Jane Zimmerman as SI President worked with ACWF to implement her President’s Appeal, Literacy for Learning in the year 2000. This project educated 740 girls for 3 years each in middle high school throughout Inner Mongolia, some of these girls went onto University, and some went back to their village and were able to start a market business. This was a very significant project to show the value of educating girls within this transitioning country with nomadic tribes.
Since then ACWF and SISWP have had many exchange visits, participation in Forums and regular contact within China and while at CSW. ACWF have supported SI in nomination within the UN centre of New York. For my SISWP Federation Conference of Clubs held on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia in 2010, ACWF sent a high level delegation of 4 members to attend and celebrate our 12 years of collaboration.
This year Karen and I were invited to a private dining room for lunch on Monday 3rd Sep by the Deputy Director-General of the International Liaison Department of ACWF, Song Wenyan. Hongju and Cia Xia also joined us. ACWF are participating at the International level within:
CSW in New York,
CEDAW where Ms Xiaoqiao Zou (ACWF) had been elected to fill the position for China on the Committee for the 3rd consecutive term on 26th June 2012.
APEC – Asia Pacific Economic Co-Operation
Their focus is on Women & Children and very similar to SI’s values. They have been instrumental to begin a national Museum for Women & Children in Beijing. Our close contact will continue.