The Forum is scheduled to take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from Wednesday 31st May to Friday 2nd June, 2017. The High-Level meeting will bring together approximately 80 participants from across Africa, including women in leadership in politics and the public sector, in business, in civil society and the media. The event is being co-hosted by the German Government, the African Union and UN WOMEN.
"I take this opportunity to reiterate our delight to count you among the participants of this essential initiative for the empowerment of African women," wrote the organisers to Mrs. Hastings Spaine in a correspondence that has been seen by this media group.
Mrs. Hastings Spaine was nominated to represent Sierra Leone by the Hon. Minister of Social Welfare, Gender & Children's Affairs.
Mrs. Hastings Spaine, the daughter of famous Aberdeen village patriarch, Revd Lusgrave Davies, is married into another famous family of noted pedigree, the Hastings Spaine family. In Kenema last month, she was elected to be National Secretary General of Women's Forum with a landslide victory. She is a well respected and noted gender activist. She is also an elected Board member of the MRU sub-regional women's peace network; MARWOPNET which spans 4 countries. She is as well either the leader or an executive member of several other women organisations. A regular participant at the CSW Meetings in New York, Hastings Spaine is also one of the few experts on Gender Sensitive Budgeting in Sierra Leone. She is also a recognised expert on Elections in West Africa as well as being an ongoing academic researcher on Conjugal Slavery with specific attention on the rights and reparations due to women who are victims of war and sexual slavery.
Mrs. Gladys Hastings Spaine is currently Board Member for Residual Issues and Peace Museum of the Special Court for Sierra Leone for the last four years.
All her positions and appointments have been held and carried out with distinction.
The Women's Forum in Sierra Leone has been in solid existence for more than two decades now. It is recognised by the State to be the umbrella body for all Women's groups in Sierra Leone.
WOMEN'S FORUM is currently the key non-governmental partner of the Government of Sierra Leone on all matters having to do with Gender and Women's issues.
WOMEN'S FORUM in its vision, sees a Sierra Leone in which women in all parts of the country, irrespective of tribe, religion, culture, education or socio economic status, are empowered to access available opportunities to build their capacity in a peaceful environment where women and children's rights are respected and protected. The Mission of Women's Forum is to maintain a vibrant network of Women's organisations, associations and groups through information sharing and influencing of policy as well as respect for womanhood, Women's Solidarity, Transparency & Rule of Law, Love for the acquisition of knowledge, Willingness and Readiness to learn and share. The aims of WOMEN'S FORUM are the advancement of the status of women, the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of all women in Sierra Leone.
For the auspicious event at the U.N. that Hastings Spaine will attend, a media advisory from New York informs that following the 3 days deliberations, the African Union Commission, UN Women and the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN will unveil to the media, a brand new initiative known as African Women Leaders Network - which aims to be a platform to enhance the leadership of women in the transformation of Africa with a focus on governance, peace and stability.
The glamorous media event will be headlined by former President of CAR, H.E. Catherine Samba Panza who is the third woman to be President of an African Nation. Also headlining the event will be H.E. Ms. Minata Samate Cessouma, African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, H.E. Ms. Bineta Diop, African Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace & Security, H.E. Ambassador Patricia Flor, a Director-General at Foreign Office in Germany and of course, Madam Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of UN Women who is one of the constant bulwark for Women's Empowerment in the world today.