One of the biggest pluses of my work with Women on Wings is the opportunity to meet strong and empowered women who speak in clear, fearless voices. So I was thrilled to get an invite to a roundtable interaction between the Mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard Van der Laan and representatives of 5 Indian organizations that focus on the economic and/or political participation of women. These were Azad Foundation, CREA, Jagori, SIDART and our very own Women on Wings.
Mayor of Amsterdam struck by the Women on Wings model
And what a discussion it turned out to be! We shared our experiences and views on the situation of women and women’s rights in India, the challenges faced, and the approach and philosophy behind our organization’s work. The Mayor also shared his thoughts and ideas on the situation of women and women’s rights in the Netherlands/Amsterdam and the challenges faced. It was a very animated discussion with lots of ideas and good practices shared and some productive networking. And the best part -the Mayor was clearly struck by the Women on Wings model and exclaimed, “What a smart idea!” He and his team were intrigued by the proposition of using Dutch expertise for the Indian social development sector and had a number of questions about areas of expertise required and the recruitment of experts.
The meeting was followed by a dinner in the beautiful gardens of the Ambassador’s residence and there I had my `wow’ moment of the day. Following a short movie about Amsterdam, the Mayor announced awarding the Frans Banninck Cocq penning to Vikas Chaturvedi, member of the Dutch board of Women on Wings for his business contribution to the city of Amsterdam. I was so proud to proclaim to everyone in the earshot, “He’s on the Women on Wings board.” It was a great way to end the evening!