Gender equality highlighted at special forum

Izah Azahari

The International Women’s Club of Brunei Darussalam (IWCB) and the Australian High Commission in Brunei Darussalam jointly organised a special forum to mark International Women’s Day at the Mutiara Ballroom of the Radisson Hotel yesterday.

IWCB President Ungku Datin Hajah Fanzah binti Haji Osman said this year’s theme ‘#ChoosetoChallange’ represents the need for change in choosing to challenge and actively strive for equality.

Meanwhile, High Commissioner of Australia to Brunei Darussalam Tiffany McDonald said, “We are fortunate in Australia and in Brunei that women’s choices are not pre-determined. But we need to remember that these choices came because others challenged the status quo.”

The forum was divided into two panels of speakers who discussed the importance of marking International Women’s Day, issues women face, gender specific challenges faced by women in their careers and women in leadership roles.

The first panel comprised Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Brunei Darussalam Yu Hong, High Commissioner of Canada to Brunei Darussalam Jeanette Stovel, Tiffany McDonald and cake designer, restaurateur and spouse of the Attorney General of Brunei Darussalam Faridah binti Yussof.

The second panel comprised Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Brunei Darussalam Gerda Winkler, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Brunei Darussalam Yoon Hyun-bong, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Brunei Darussalam Homeira Rigi Zirouki and former diplomat, entrepreneur and spouse of the Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Hajah Noorafzah Khatijah binti Dato Paduka Haji Ahmad.

IWCB’s honorary members and officials from embassies and high commissions also attended.

ABOVE & BELOW: Forum panellists during the first session; and International Women’s Club of Brunei Darussalam President Ungku Datin Hajah Fanzah binti Haji Osman delivers her speech. PHOTOS: IZAH AZAHARI