Women in Diplomacy

For a long time, diplomacy was a male domain and women were rarely to be found in the field. Today, things are changed – at least in Austria. Of seven sections in the Foreign Ministry, four are headed by women and the cabinet of the Federal Minister is also led by a woman. Nevertheless, the first female Austrian Foreign Minister had to wait awhile. It was not until 2000 that the time had come and Benita Ferrero-Waldner took over the leadership of the high-ranking office.

In her book “Benita: Wo ein Wille, da ein Weg”, Benita Ferrero-Waldner describes her life’s journey through various leading diplomatic positions. As EU Commissioner for External Relations, UN Chief of Protocol and candidate for the UNESCO chief post, her diplomatic career has reached the highest levels of diplomacy.

As editor of the book “Female Diplomacy – Women in Foreign Policy”, Elisabeth Motschmann has made an important contribution in the field. For this book, the former member of the German Bundestag enlisted committed women from academia, business, politics and the media, all of whom are intensively involved in foreign policy.

In the context of this event, the Martens Centre together with Political Academy of Austrian People’s Party is using the two books described as a background to highlight the topic of “Women in Diplomacy”. Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Elisabeth Motschmann will present their two books and talk about women in foreign policy together with Martina Schubert, Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Academy, and Michaela Pacher, First Counsellor at the Austrian Embassy in Warsaw. Challenges and opportunities for women in diplomatic service will be discussed as well as the basic work in the diplomatic service. The event will be moderated by Hannelore Veit, long-time ORF correspondent for the USA.

Vienna 18:00-20:00

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