On 9 March 2017, the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade (IFAT) was honored to host its first-ever “Women in Diplomacy” event. On the occasion of the recent International Women’s Day, the event featured a roundtable discussion with H.E. Ms Marie Antoinette Sedin, Ambassador of Palestine; H.E. Ms Verónica Chahin Sarah, Ambassador of the Republic of Chile; as well as H.E. Ms Maria Fe Pangilinan, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines. The discussion was moderated by Ms Diána Szőke, senior analyst at IFAT.
In his welcome notes, Ambassador Márton Schőberl, Director of IFAT pointed out the timely nature of this event, and highlighted the vital role women play in ensuring peace and stability, economic empowerment and sustainability. Ms Szilvia Nagy, President of the Young Diplomats Club in Budapest delivered the opening remarks, citing the importance of female role models for young women aspiring to become diplomats in the future.
The roundtable discussion covered both the professional and personal experiences of the female ambassadors sitting in the panel. The issues touched upon included potential discrimination, work-life balance, pro-family employment policies and how specific so-called “feminine” characteristics can prove beneficial in the world of international relations. This was followed by a lively Q&A session, where members of the audience had the chance to hear the opinions of the panelists on issues related to career choices, personal fulfilment and the outlook for women in diplomacy in general.