The fifth session was chaired by Mrs. Yoshiko Pammer, Youth UPF-Austria.
- Mrs. Magdalena Vasaryova, Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia (2005-2006)
- Dr. Anna Gudyma, research associate of the Russian Academy of Sciences
- Dr. Zhannat Kosmukhamedova, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
- Dr. Lyudmila Fomicheva, President of the St. Petersburg Union of Journalists, President of the Council of the North-West Branch of the Russian Association of Public Relations
- Mrs. Carolyn Handschin-Moser, President of the Women's Federation for World Peace-Europe
Magdalena Vasaryova, Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, began the day with a reflection on women’s leadership. What do women bring to public life? They bring life experience, tenderness, and a force for morality against immorality. Women are brought up differently. We understand differently the mechanism of communication. However, in the media, women are excluded from decision making levels in leading newspapers. Women also lack a foundation to support female leaders across borders. In Slovakia, the female Prime Minister [Iveta Radièová] was criticized for not being able to hold a coalition together and was in her position for only a year and a half.
Dr. Lyudmila Fomicheva, President of the St. Petersburg Union of Journalists and President of the Council of the North-West Branch of the Russian Association of Public Relations. Women tend to focus on process, resources, and maintaining what has been achieved, while men tend to focus on expanding, bringing in new clients and new resources. The models for women political leaders have been masculine, based initially on their fathers and grandfathers; however, women in high public positions should not use just a masculine approach. The 20th century saw a breakthrough in women’s rights, although this was less true in the East, unless the women were part of a ruling clan, as in the case of Indira Gandhi in India and Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan. In Russia, six of the Romanov czars were women. Soviet ideology allowed for women’s presence in power; for example in trade and banking, but in the capitalist era only two women have been in charge of government ministries. For Russian women, public service has not been a priority, and when a woman has a government position, her family may suffer from her lack of focus on childbearing and mothering. The key to motivating women to enter the public sphere may be to help them understand that power is a tool for social reform. In contrast, men tend to see power as a game. A woman head of the city of St. Petersburg [Valentina Matvienko] did much to raise the image of our city.
Mrs. Carolyn Handschin-Moser, President of the Women's Federation for World Peace-Europe, began by describing the emerging global attention to human security as a shift from military and geopolitical issues to a more feminine concern for protection, empowerment, consensus-building, and institutional goodness. People talk about rights to peace, prosperity, happiness, and justice. However, are there not corresponding duties? Isn’t a culture of peace more than just not infringing on the rights of others? There is a big gap between cultivating inner peace and achieving global peace. “Familyarchy” can be a model for bridging this gap; the family unit can be the nexus for addressing social problems and a resource for building the capacity to resolve them. In the family, people can build the “muscles” to do what needs to be done in the larger society. Men and women can be equal partners, critiquing each other, discussing situations, and implementing strategies. The values instilled in the family create a framework for lifelong attitudes and behaviors, empowering both men and women to contribute to the greater good.