Barely hidden by the pale white curtains, Victorian windows lined the pastel walls. One could see in the shadow of the sunset, degrading behind the Washington D.C. skyline, a podium in the middle of the room. Standing strong behind it was an older woman, Kristalina Georgieva, the Bulgarian politician and international advocate.
At the Belgian embassy, a crowd of sophisticated European and American women stared wide-eyed at the grandiose guest-speaker. In her speech, she began by emphasizing the necessity of humanitarian development and fundraising in war-torn countries.
“If people are dead, how can they develop the community?” she said.
That evening, the Ambassador was hosting an event under the non-profit, Women in Foreign Policy Group, an organization encouraging the involvement of women in International Affairs. A career-field, which has less than a 30 percent turnover rate for women in leadership positions, according to a 2011 survey by policy analyst Micah Zenko.
With this intention, Georgieva’s role in leadership couldn’t be more prelevant to the event.
She had just been elected as the Chief Executive Officer of The World Bank in January 2017, and before that served as the European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources since November 2014. It was the first time a woman, let alone one from Eastern Europe, had ever been a CEO of the World Bank.
It was clear, the ardent humanitarian leader gathered the WFPG in order to discuss the direction of the International financial Institution under her leadership in the upcoming years.
“Never has the world been so rich, and never has the world been so generous,” the CEO firmly stated with justice in her voice and empathy in her eyes, “but never has our generosity been so insufficient.”
Dedicated to re-building the financial mechanics of poverty stricken countries, The World Bank is the biggest international financial institution to give out to developing communities – to help them to stand on their own. It currently loans up to 27 billion dollars to communities in some of the poorest countries in the world, such as Afghanistan, Nepal, and Haiti.
Nevertheless, there were recent cuts in the percent of financial obligations by the United States provided to the World Bank. The world power contributes three billion to The WB’s humanitarian efforts.
“I have noticed,” the CEO shared, “whatever is the policy of the U.S. government, American people still are quite generous.”
To the contrary, countries that are in great need like Spain, Nigeria, Greece, and Pakistan have increased their contributions. For the first time, a country like India contributes in many international funds designated to fight the poverty in the world.
During that evening dedicated to the leadership of the women in the world, CEO Georgieva remained resilient in spreading her message.
She believes in every possibility for global partnerships. It is extremely important in today’s world to have a join approach solution when solving every global problem in the world. Governmental, International Organizations and, Non-profit organizations should all be involved in helping the conflict in Syria. She demanded, “It is a moral burden on all of humanity today”
Furthermore, The World Bank CEO, talked about the Importance of the protection of the environment.
“We should not have an ambiguity in our position on the issue,” she stated. “We, as a global society should have commitment to prevent Climate Change, and not have ideological fights on the topic.
Georgieva continued to share her observations that women in humanitarian crisis are generally “more resilient.” For example, in countries like Yemen and Nigeria, the WB provides cash to women when there is a drought. Women are more likely to invest in productive assets like the ownership of the land.
Looking around at all of the beautiful and powerful women, Kristalina had more to communicate to the group than just the advocation – she needed mobilization. The compelling speaker came to share her universal observation on women’s natural ability to leadership – all over the world, no matter the circumstance.
“The majority of the people in the world are good.” Georgieva rallied her audience, “but the minority of hateful people is usually very loud. In general, the goodness within the world is very quiet. My call to action is to make that voice loud!”
The meeting ended with questions and statements by many of the women in leadership roles and humanitarian efforts around the world. Hearing their stories about ending poverty and uplifting other women, my heart burned with ambition. I felt capable, as if I had a part to play in this grandmaster plan to employing world peace. It was in this exact moment of inner-discovery that I realized how many other girls, like me, are deprived from this awareness and how many factors fortify this ignorance.
As she finished her great speech that evening, Georgieva concluded, “If there is anything the strategies of the World Bank taught me, is this: Although women and children are the most vulnerable in the world, they are also the most powerful… There is still so much work needed to be done.”