The 12th edition of the European Development Days brought together Europe’s and the world’s development community, under the theme Women and Girls at the Forefront of Sustainable Development.
The forum was launched in 2006 as a way to gather the international development community and discuss the way forward to eradicate poverty.
This year’s meetings have been focusing on the vital role of women and need for their full and equal participation and leadership in achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
In her opening speech during the forum, Queen Mathilde of Belgium stressed on the need to give women and girls special attention.
“When it comes to sustainable development, women and girls to indeed require special attention..Very often they need protection but above all they are an essential force for implementation agenda 2030. As an advocate fr the UN sustainable girls I consider health and education to be the cornerstone for development,” Queen Mathilde of Belgium said.
This is the second year in a row that President Kagame of Rwanda is attending the gathering that is organised by the European Commission and brings together the development community to be able to share ideas and experiences and also inspire new partnerships.
“For too long society has created a psychology that women are inferior and can only rise on the mercy of mine. This is a norm that can no longer be tolerated not only with regard to unwanted to advances but in deed in all aspects of the struggle of equality. We must believe in it all of us and the most important work is the at the level of the mindset,” said president Kagame.
The event brought together thousands of attendees to experience talks and presented networking opportunities.
“It is my first time. Actually I had about it a few days ago and with all the initiatives in the programme I decided to come because it had a lot of things which were oriented towards women and towards development and I really wanted to know what was in there,” said Stella Bida who is a participant.