Diplomat-in-Residence: Data, Policy, & Mentorship Crucial for Gender Equality

At a Georgetown Women’s Alliance-Qatar (GWA-Q) event held at GU-Q, H.E. Ambassador Androulla Kaminara, the first woman to serve as the European Union Ambassador and Head of Delegation to Pakistan, discussed the increasing role of women in international affairs, and shared  insights on advancing global gender equality.

Speaking to the community as part of her role as Distinguished Diplomat-in-Residence at GU-Q, Ambassador Kaminara shared her unconventional path to becoming an ambassador after working for more than 30 years as manager of development corporations and in humanitarian aid agencies. She explained how becoming a diplomat was the logical culmination of a career devoted to addressing complex issues in the developing world.

The Ambassador’s talk focused on issues relevant to the work of the GWA-Q. She underscored that contrary to popular opinion, equality for men and women in the workforce has yet to be achieved. Drawing from her own experience, she highlighted examples of bias, and strategies she employed to fight against prejudice in her career.

A trained geophysicist, Ambassador Kaminara emphasized the importance of publishing data on women’s workforce inclusion in the fight for equality.

To combat prejudice, she emphasized confronting discrimination directly, fostering mentorship and information exchange among women, and urging men to act as allies. She cited instances where men facilitated discussions between policymakers, women’s interest groups, and community leaders.

Dean Safwan Masri also attended the event, highlighting the importance of the topic and the many important conversations lined up with Ambassador Kaminara over the coming year. 

The ambassador was introduced by Malgorzata Ledwon, associate director of rewards and wellness and co-chair of the GWA-Q, followed by a lively discussion with Dr. Christine Schiwietz, assistant dean of curricular and academic advising and GWA-Q leadership team member. 

Dr. Schiwietz is also serving as host of the ambassador’s year-long residency at GU-Q, coordinating Ambassador Kaminara’s academic activities which include guest lecturing in courses on international affairs, mentoring students and advising student leaders, and speaking at upcoming talks and conferences hosted at GU-Q.

The Ambassador’s next public talk, “Practitioners’ Proposals on How to Enhance Diplomatic Practice” will be held in November.