Administrator

During the extra General Meeting of INLW December, 20th 2023 the members agreed to nominate Khadija Oum Bachair El Morabit as our new President. She accepted the nomination.

Her position as president will be re-confirmed in November 2024 during the regular GM.

The Board gives thanks to Mrs Jayanthi Devi Balaguru for all her work and commitment to INLW. We wish her all the best.

January 2024

Here are the Top 10 Moroccan Women who marked 2023 – L’Afrique Adulte “Work hard in silence and let your success make noise.” Napoleon Hill L’Afrique Adulte offers you a compilation of these exceptional women in this article. Without further ado, discover this top 10:

Khadija El Morabit: President of the International Network of Liberal Women

Khadija El Morabit, elected world president of the International Network of Liberal Women (INLW), during the extraordinary general assembly of this organization.

Before that, Khadija El Morabit, founder of the Moroccan chapter of the International Network of Liberal Women, participated in the RENEWPAC summit of liberal leaders from the Pacific, Africa and the Caribbean, organized in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, in the presence of the Senegalese president Macky Sall. This summit was held from December 3 to 5 in the Senegalese capital on the theme “Africa-Europe, how to promote sustainable development”.

Khadija El Morabit also attracted attention during her distinguished participation in the work of the General Assembly of the African Liberal Network to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the network on December 6, 2023, where she held numerous meetings with eminent African personalities on issues of development, democracy and human rights in the countries of the African continent.

Khadija El Morabit was a prominent member of the Popular Movement Party, where she led the Women’s Wing Organization before submitting her resignation in 2015.

Congratulations to Khadijah El Morabit

Elad International extends its heartfelt congratulations to Ms. Khadijah El Morabit on her distinguished election as the President of the International Network of Liberal Women.
We are confident that the INLW will take a new fruitful chapter, under her leadership.

Following an extensive experience in the private sector in London – UK, Khadija El Morabit became a Co-Founder, Entrepreneur in Real Estate Development and Hotel Management in Morocco for nearly 2 decades now. She is also International Consultant / Trainer on Gender Inclusion, Civic Engagement, Women / Youth Empowerment & Entrepreneurship, Political Participation & Leadership, Political Parties strengthening. Khadija is a civil society activist at national & international level. She is now the President of the International Network of Liberal Women (INLW) (after 2 mandates each as Deputy President and as Vice President in charge of MENA Region), the Founder of INLW Morocco Chapter, & member of the Liberal International Fair Trade Committee. Her other main areas of work are: International Politics & Diplomacy, Women’s Participation & Training in Politics, Election Observation, Advocacy for Women’s Rights, Gender Equality & minorities inclusion, Peace & Security, Democracy & Governance, Elimination of Discrimination & Violence against Women and Girls, Economic Empowerment (incubators / start-ups) & Capacity Building, Projects Management. She facilitates & speaks in conferences, workshops, worldwide.

Khadija is a Former President of Mouvement Populaire Political Party Women’s Wing in Morocco (Femmes Harakies Organization), Former member of the Party Political Bureau, its National Council & both its International Relations and Gender equality / Parity Committees. She was a candidate at the 2011 Parliament Elections Women National Quota. Khadija is a Former National Board member & Regional President of the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Morocco (AFEM), Founder of AFEM Chapter (El Jadida Bureau), Founder of AFEM El Jadida’s Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Incubator inaugurated by His Majesty the King Mohamed VI in 2012. She is a former member of Human Rights Committee of Liberal International, Federation of liberal political parties in the world. She was a member of an International Observation Mission of Liberals and Democrats for the Presidential Elections 2020 in Ivory Coast.

Holder of an Executive MBA from Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris & Ecole Hassania des Travaux Publics in Casa, a Higher National Diploma in Business and Finance from West London University (formerly called TVU).

In March 2013, she was nominated by “Forbes Middle East” Magazine as one of “the most influential Arab businesswomen in family businesses” in MENA Region according to the importance of women & their power and influence in family businesses (33rd place).

Read the article on ‘L’Afrique Adulte’ (in French):
Voici le Top 10 des Femmes Marocaines qui ont marqué 2023 – L’Afrique Adulte

Khadija Oum Bachair EL MORABIT, Deputy President of the International Network of Liberal Women (INLW) and the founder of INLW Morocco Chapter, has attended the RENEWPAC – Pacific, Africa and Caribbean Summit in Dakar, Senegal 3rd – 5th December 2023, with the presence of H.E. Macky Sall the President of the Republic of Senegal, under the theme of “how to foster the sustainable development between Europe and Africa”.

Meantime in Dakar, Khadija has also attended the African Liberal Network (ALN) General Assembly celebrating the Network’s 20th Anniversary 6th of December 2023, where Mr Jawad Chafil from the Constitutional Union Political Party in Morocco was elected Vice President of the African Liberal Network for North Africa, and Stenah Shampile for Southern Africa.

These events were very rich platforms for our INLW Deputy President to exchange and network with the European and the African Liberal Family and also discuss new partnerships with the Sahel region political parties such as the “Rassemblement pour la Mauritanie” from Mauritania and “Sudan of the Future” from the Republic of Sudan, in terms of women’s political leadership, women’s and youth capacity building, exchange of experiences and last but not least the possibility of founding new INLW chapters in these countries in the future.

Hosted by the governing DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) under the theme “The Future of Democracy in Asia” Liberal International sent a large delegation to join in the celebrations for the 30th anniversary of the CALD group and to support the Taiwanese colleagues.

In this region they are facing growing illiberalism and authoritarianism. The heightened tensions in the South China Sea and the East China Sea have brought not the End of History but the beginning of a new era of competition. Democracies are being tested for their unity and the strength of their convictions.

“We are faced with the rise of authoritarianism and must respond to increased tensions, we can work together as societies and countries that are bound by shared values and interests” that was the message from Taiwan’s Vice-President and 2024 presidential candidate, Lai Ching-Te, as he addressed the 30th anniversary congress of CALD. “This is our greatest strength and it is also the reason democracies will prevail”, he added. “we not only commemorate those past 30 years, but also present a roadmap for the future, with peace as the lighthouse and democracy as our compass, we will work together to bring a better future for people across this region”.

Taiwan Vice president Lai Ching-e, along with other representatives and partners signed the Joint Declaration on the Current State and Future of Democracy in Asia. One of the partners was our president Jayanthi Devi Balaguru for INLW.

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On Tuesday evening, August 29, 2023, the annual dinner of LVN and INLW took place in Rotterdam. It was another animated evening.

This time we had as our guests, Minister for Foreign Trade, Liesje Schreinemacher and
Group Leader in the European Parliament, Malik Azmani.

It was a packed room with more than 40 ladies and a few gentlemen who were able to get to know these two VVD politicians.

Minister Schreinemacher explained about her work and that foreign trade may seem far away, but it has a lot to do with the Netherlands as the Netherlands are an open trading country. A special time is also coming for her as a caretaker minister. We have to wait and see what she can do in the coming months until the elections.

After that the 22nd of November, with a new chamber, it will be very exciting to be able to make decisions and still get things done in the period of the negotiations of the parties that are trying to form a new government. It may take several months before a new government is installed and thus new ministers will be sworn in to take over her portfolio.
Before that, the minister, who has just become pregnant, will have been away on maternity leave for some time.

It also is a different world for Member of Parliament, Malik Azmani, now that the Dutch are all busy for the next elections in the Netherlands and therefore the European elections of next year in June 2024 have clearly faded into the background.
Azmani did admit to a question from one of the ladies that he would like to be the party leader for the VVD in the Euro parliament for another round.

At the Blue Economy Summit an event at which we wanted to connect leading figures from the world of science, institutions, entrepreneurship and finance we discussed the current status of the ocean and the urgent need to build a BLUE ECONOMY. INLW Board member, Ruth Richardson, had the opportunity to speak during the panel on “The role of the People in Cities and in Ocean Water”. She spoke about the role of Women in society, in the cities but also on the climate, among other things water and the ocean.

Women are the pioneers of a nation! According to a report of the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, “Women constitute 50% of human resources, the greatest human resource next only to man, having great potentiality”. “That is why we must not forget to empower women by making use of their talent, their leadership, experience and their knowledge in this sustainable developing world we are living in. They are also the change makers, in the cities, in our society and in climate change”.

There were many other speakers such as Riccardo Bonadeo President of One Ocean Foundation; Vladimir Ryabinin Executive Secretary IOC-UNESCO; Sylvia Earle Oceanographer Mission Blue, explorer, author, and lecturer; Stefano Pogutz President of One Ocean Foundation’s Scientific Committee and my dearest friend and colleague Martina Rogato. She is one of the most influential and talented women I have ever met.

The conclusion is that even Women can change the course of our future. Our Ocean water is Life!

Ruth Richardson

It is many years ago that LI held a meeting in Canada. Although Canadian involvement in LI goes back to the beginning of the organization in 1947. One of the main observations was that liberalism is under attack in many parts of the world and unfortunately populism and nationalism are on the rise.

It was therefore very good to meet and to unite in our common cause as liberals. After our ExCom Meeting all participants were invited to attend the Convention of Canadian liberals following the ExCom.

INLW had tabled 3 resolutions:

 “Women and Girls and STEM” (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

“Supporting Taiwan’s Defense, Increased Participation in International Affairs and Further
Collaboration with World Democracies” (INLW and DPP)

“The treatment of Uyghur women and condemning the naming of Peng Liyuan as Special
Envoy for the Advancement of Girl’s and Women’s Education” (INLW and DPP).

All resolutions were accepted by vote by the Executive Committee Meeting.

Treasurer Lysbeth van Valkenburg met our Patron Lorna Marsden in Torontoa before the meeting. Unfortunately she was unable to attend the exc. Meeting.

The first evening the welcoming reception was hosted by the Canadian Group of LI in the Sir John Macdonald building.

We were welcomed by Sen. Art Eggleton, president of the Canadian Group of Liberal International and Vice President of the LI Bureau, and LI president Hakima el Haité.
Quite a few of the Canadian parliamentarians were present, Leah Taylor Roy, MP on behalf of the Liberal party Canada Parliamentary Caucus also welcomed all guests but especially the women. As we can see there were quite a few women present.

In Canada about 30% of the MP’s are female and she is trying to get more women interested in politics. It is clear that the number of women worldwide is still far from representative of the population they represent. We hope to see some of our Canadian ladies as new members of INLW.

At the opening of the meeting Francois-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovations, science and industry of Canada, gave us an oversight of the problems at the moment.
“The difference of the things that we find important, we as liberals go for possibilities and are optimistic. The word ‘ a liberal’ is better changed in the discussions to ‘ a person with our values’, we share our values with many people, we want a fair agreement in our relations with a fair partnership in which dignity is leading, let’s not leave anyone behind”.

Hakima el Haité stressed that peace is most important, next to food security, energy security, climate change, AI and digitalization.
The war is visible in all these things. We are at the moment in a world where mistrust is found by many people, populists are often good speakers with so called very simple solutions to difficult problems.
We must defend our system, we are safe-keepers of our values, peace and rights. But we have to make our decisions much more with support of the people it concerns. We also have to commit to the Paris agreement of 2015. We must reduce the inequality in the world, work with a fair agreement and partnership.

This year the Prize for Freedom was awarded to Vladimir Kara-Murza, journalist and opposition leader in Russia who was convicted in April to 25 years imprisonment in Russia. His wife was present during our meeting. She stressed that this prize can help to keep him safe and it shows that we don’t forget our imprisoned friends.

In his nomination letter LI Human Rights Committee member and former Canadian Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler wrote, “Vladimir Kara-Murza gives expression to the very best of what the concept of freedom represents, and whose heroism stands as an abiding example for all those who share a commitment to human rights, democracy, and the advancement of peace.”

“Vladimir Kara-Murza has without sparing himself fought for democracy and human rights in the Russian Federation. He has successfully advocated for targeted Magnitsky sanctions on human rights offenders,” notes Human Rights Committee Chair Astrid Thors.

The question remains what to do against dictators, release of such a prisoner will only be done if the dictator is put under pressure and that is mostly economic. But we also have to get it legally arranged, legally is never important for a dictator. Only self-interest of the country with economic advantage will get political prisoners out.
The war in Russia will continue so we have to get the sanctions working and keep the pressure on.

The LI Human Rights Committee organized a parallel session on organizing from Opposition, Overcoming Political Oppression: Evgenia Kara-Murza the Advocacy Coordinator of Free Russia Foundation and wife of imprisoned Vladimir Kara-Murza after working as an interpreter has joined her husband in advocating for human rights accountability and promoting civil society and democratic change in Russia. She is approaching all people like heads of state to ask for them to keep asking for freedom for Kara-Murza. She believes that keeping the name mentioned is the only way to get him free and save his life as he has already twice been poisoned badly and that has seriously damaged his health.
Also Mardi Seng spoke about his sister Theary Seng who is a political prisoner in Cambodia where the President stays on and ignores the results of Presidential elections and imprisons all opposition. She is determined that “wrong will be right” eventually. Only her brother may visit her.

Mr Felix Maradiaga, who is an academic, political activist from Nicaragua and former Secretary General of the Ministry of Defense and Presidential Candidate was arrested in June 2021 and held in solitary confinement in Nicaragua by the President Ortega’s regime for the alleged crime of “conspiracy to undermine national integrity” In February this year he was suddenly released, exiled and flown to the US with 221 other political prisoners. So it does help to get political prisoners free by keeping their names well known, giving their family (often in exile) recognition, giving a voice to political movements in exile and keep giving the prisoners as much as possible emotional help! It must become in the self-interest of the regime to release the political prisoner! The work of the LI HRC remains very necessary.

The last evening FNF sponsored a dinner in the National Art Centre, with as special guest Rt. Hon. Jean Crétien, former Prime Minister of Canada (1993-2003).

The Dutch ladies were invited to attend a meeting of the women parliamentarians and women ambassadors by MP. Leah Taylor Roy. At this meeting we met our Dutch ambassador Ines Coppoolse, she invited the Dutch ladies to attend the 4th of May Netherlands Remembrance Day with the wreath laying ceremony, which we did. For them as Dutch it was moving to be able to commemorate in the Canadian cemetery those Canadians who died while freeing the Netherlands during the Second World War.

We also were invited to attend the Senate sitting as guest of Senator Mobina Jaffer, former President of INLW at the turn of the century.
At the start of the Canadian congress some of us attended the opening speech of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Photos: Danker van Valkenburg

The 67th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67) was held from March 6-17 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. We hereby give you some parts of the speeches that were given at the opening session and also at the International Women’s Day. Also some of the conclusions at the end of CSW from Ms. Amina J. Mohammed.

There was a warm welcome of secretary-general Gutierrez at the opening of CSW “Today, women make up under a third of the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and maths. When women are under-represented in developing new technologies, discrimination may be baked in from the start.”

“Women and girls are leading efforts to make science and technology accessible, inclusive, and safe. Women and girls will not be silenced. Their demands for their rights and freedoms echo around the globe. The Commission on the Status of Women is a dynamo and catalyst for the transformation we need. Together, let’s push back against misogyny and forward for women, girls and our world.”
— António Gutierrez.

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