Meet Aldith Hunkar, plenary session chair at the conference

Published: Jul 28 2015

Let’s come up with a timeline and plans!

As a former reporter and news anchor in the Netherlands, and nowadays as a global freestyle multimedia journalist, one thing has become very clear to me: women play a crucial role in every community around the world. Wherever I have travelled, on all continents, it is women who provide continuity, care and safety within their families. Yet it is women who face the most hardship and who are subject to inequality and dismissal of their worth. It is also women who fall victim to violence and maltreatment.

Why is this? And why does the world still seem to ignore or even condone this behaviour? What is necessary to change the narrative on the role women play worldwide? Who will take action and how do we, as a global community, take care of our women and provide them with security?

These and similar questions will be raised during the 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters in the Netherlands. I am proud to be one of the moderators during the four-day global gathering in The Hague and look forward to leading the discussions and stimulating interaction between participants. It would be wonderful if, after four days of mingling, we could come up with a concrete timeline and plans to change attitudes towards women worldwide.

As we address the various issues, I will be thinking of some of the women I have been fortunate enough to meet on my many travels: my Jamaican friends who work two or three jobs to feed their children, the selfless women who run orphanages in Ghana and Gambia, a Brazilian entrepreneur who runs a successful catering business from her tiny dwelling in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, the Tibetan women in China’s Shangri-La who travel countless miles each day to sell the jewellery they make during the night… Although all their lives are tough, these women do at least have a roof over their heads and are in charge of their own destinies. This, at the very least, is what I wish for all women across the globe.

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