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Monday, March 26, 2012

Women's Leadership Conference

Earlier this month, I attended the International Women's Conference in Belgrade.  It was sponsored by the Speaker of the Parliament of Serbia, Dr. Slavka Đukić-Dejanović, USAID, and the Serbian Unity Congress (of which I was the first woman president).

This event brought together 160 women from the US, Serbia, Austria, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Macedonia, Romania and Mongolia, who are involved in the government, philanthropic, NGO, and private sectors.  It gave us a chance to hear about strategies for empowering women to actively participate in all the arenas of life:  economic, governmental, scientific, and social.
The academic choir "Obilić, conducted by Mrs. Darinka Matić Matović, started off the conference singing "Vostani Serbije" [Arise Serbia], written to support the 1804 rebellion against Ottoman Turkey, and the African-American spiritual "I Wonna Be Ready".  Then, the first panel began.
left to right:  U.S. Ambassador Mary Burce Warlick; Dr. Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic; Elizabeth Sullivan, Office of Global Women’s Issues, State Department; and Mirjana Samardzija, President, Serbian Unity Congress 
The conference was also a chance to see old friends,
Olga from Vienna
Fionn from Los Angeles
and make new ones.
At the end of the first day, we all got together in Parliament building of Serbia, and heard a contemporary theater group sing a lively and toe-tapping rendition of Živele Žene [Viva Women!].
Some photos of the Parliament building ...

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