In order to strengthen bilateral relations with Belgium even in terms of promoting women’s rights and combating gender inequality, the Italian Embassy in Brussels, with the assistance of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, set up an informal bilateral panel on such issues, which featured Italian and Belgian high-profile personalities proceeding from several sectors of society.
The initiative took place yesterday and was attended by Marina Sereni, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, who expressed her appreciation of the Embassy’s initiative in a country such as Belgium, where many women hold leading positions, while pointing out that Italian institutions consider the gender agenda a top priority. The Deputy Minister also stressed the importance of women’s empowerment in development cooperation policies and Italy’s firm commitment in favour of women in Afghanistan. The Belgian delegation was led by the Minister for Climate and the Environment, Zakia Khattabi, a keen advocate of social justice and of the engagement of girls and young women in climate policies.
Other high-profile members of the panel include Eva De Bleeker, Belgium’s State Secretary for the Budget, Federica Mogherini, Rector of the European College, Antonella Fioravanti, professor of molecular microbiology at VUB University of Brussels and awarded by the Belgian Royal Academy of Sciences for her research on anthrax, Irene Zancanaro, Director of the EU Office at Ferrero and Catherine Moureaux, Mayor of Molenbeek.
The panel’s goal is to highlight, in Belgium too, Italy’s commitment and the initiatives recently taken by the Farnesina on issues concerning women’s empowerment and gender equality, and to draft a roadmap of initiatives aimed at sharing best practices with Belgium, a country that is at the forefront when it comes to these topics.
The Embassy may rely on the remarkable added value provided by these high-profile personalities, both for strengthening Italy’s image on the strategic stage of Belgium and Brussels, and for its internal organisation activities, as Deputy Minister Sereni said while inaugurating the event at the Residence of Ambassador Genuardi yesterday evening.