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By Gabriela Álvarez, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

I’m Gabriela Álvarez, a 22 year old Spanish student from Universidad Complutense de Madrid who participated in the first GWL Voices Dialogue under the Her Turn initiative, celebrated in Madrid on the 22 and 23 of January. 

In recent years, discussions surrounding the role of women in the multilateral system have gained significant relevance. As the world continues to face numerous challenges, the importance of diverse perspectives and inclusive decision-making processes within these systems cannot be overstated. Participating in the GWL Voices Dialogue, allowed me to learn about what we have accomplished and the hurdles yet to be overcome.

As part of the Dialogue, I had the opportunity to learn from a diverse array of high-level and brilliant speakers all passionate about advancing gender equality within the multilateral frameworks.

Gabriela ÁlvarezUniversidad Complutense de Madrid

One of the recurring themes throughout the discussions was the undeniable value that women bring to the table in addressing global issues. From peace negotiations to economic development initiatives, women have demonstrated their ability to drive positive change and foster collaboration. However, despite their undeniable contributions, women continue to face significant barriers within the multilateral system. Lack of representation in leadership roles, discriminatory practices and gender biases must be addressed.

For me, one inspiring aspect of the event was the consensus among speakers regarding the commitment to reforming the multilateral architecture to provide gender equality. I believe the proposals made at Casa América during the Dialogue, and the willingness to take action and accelerate the change were quite remarkable. 

Another takeaway from the event was the importance of mentorship and networking opportunities, as highlighted through the Her Turn Initiative we had.  Having coffee with such inspiring women was a unique experience, and the output of those conversations, valuable messages and advice to apply from now on.

Establishing an intergenerational exchange of knowledge and experiences between different generations on this kind of conference is crucial, because we will to be the ones who need to continue building the path to archive and promote gender equality in the multilateral system.

Gabriela ÁlvarezUniversidad Complutense de Madrid

As I reflect on my experiences at the GWL Voices Dialogue, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to learn from so many accomplished women. The dialogue was a testament to the strength of unity and women’s incredible potential to drive positive change globally. As I continue my academic journey, I am more committed than ever to contributing to a future where women’s voices are heard and valued at every level of decision-making.

The journey ahead is long and fraught with challenges, but the lessons learned, and the connections made at the GWL Voices Dialogue will be my guiding light. Together, we can break barriers, challenge the status quo, and build a more inclusive and equitable world for future generations.