Women@Dior & UNESCO Global Conference celebrates female empowerment

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Women@Dior & UNESCO Global Conference: More than a thousand women, including high-ranking executives from the luxury industry, mentees, mentors, and even a Nobel Peace laureate, attended Thursday’s Women@Dior & UNESCO Global Conference, organised by Dior and UNESCO.





From her platform in the Paris headquarters of UNESCO, the bilingual journalist Asha Sumputh stated, “We are here to celebrate women’s empowerment.”


At the core of the Women@Dior & UNESCO mentoring and education programme are important feminist goals, and this event highlighted those goals while also promoting fairness, inclusivity, and gender equality. Dream For Change was founded half a decade ago as a result. Every year, the Women@Dior mentoring programme helps hundreds of bright young women from countries including Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Jamaica, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, and Ghana, among others.


Each of the five teams competing in this year’s Dream For Change initiative—which aimed to empower females in their respective communities—was evaluated by a panel presided over by Maria Grazia Chiuri, creative director of Dior.


Being a part of the Women@Dior jury and getting a glimpse of the fantastic ideas put forth by a new wave of global women is an immense privilege for me. Their passion and commitment to creating a better society and to “dream for change” is incredibly motivating, according to the creative director, and it’s evident in their work in health and education.


The two victors this year were Neha Jain and her business incubator initiative, Meraki, which helps rural women in India start and grow their own enterprises. And Be Neutral, a Korean initiative by Lee Soun that talks about the risks of body dysmorphia and how people are pressured to fit into beauty standards.


A gospel choir called Voice2Gether performed a hymn to the strength of sisters to kick off the morning session. Finally, Liberian rights campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee delivered a moving address.


Having the guts to speak up was her central point. The teacher gave her a F since she was so quiet and unremarkable in class, therefore she learnt this principle after that. She requested that the teacher read it more thoroughly, and as a result, she received an A.


Take a stand! When Gbowee mustered the guts to confront a brutal ruler in her own land, she “realised that my voice was my agency and my soul,” she said. It was this inspiration that led her to establish a foundation to empower women.


The narrative of Gbowee is quite unusual. Her grandma was an early educator in the town; she lived to be 115 years old. The civil war turned her life upside down; she had planned to become a paediatrician after graduating from high school at the age of seventeen. Then, she returned to school after having four children in a span of five years.


Christian Dior Couture President and CEO Delphine Arnault sent a video greeting to the more than a thousand women in attendance, hailing from over 60 nations. Equal rights for women and men are more important in a rapidly evolving world. We are guided by the principle of transmitting and empowering. “Our partnership with UNESCO is something we are very excited about,” Arnault stated.


When asked about the often-overlooked role of women, Olivier Sastre, a Dior human resources director, said, “Christian Dior was a pioneer of women’s empowerment, he dreamed of making women feel beautiful.” Sastre went on to mention that 70% of farmers in Africa are women, thus emphasising the importance of women’s empowerment.


Afghanistan, the country with the fewest number of liberations, was the focus of Stefania Giannini, the Assistant Director General of Education at UNESCO.


Women are not allowed to attend elementary or secondary schools there. Among the many significant challenges to women’s empowerment, this ranks high. She emphasised, “We should all be feminists,” while referencing an early Chiuri presentation for Dior in which she displayed T-Shirts proclaiming, “We should all be Afghan women.”


Fifty million more girls have enrolled in school since 2015, indicating improvement on a global scale. In spite of this, we have not yet achieved our objective. “The world’s 700 million illiterates are disproportionately female,” she bemoaned.


Prize winners – Women@Dior & UNESCO

Even though it seemed like a public relations stunt at times, the world’s wealthiest luxury goods conglomerate LVMH has obviously made great strides towards gender and wage equality across its more than 70 brands.


We must not give up. We need a more equitable world. After World War II, UNESCO came into being… a more pertinent endeavour in this day and age when bigotry endangers free speech and human rights,” stated Chantal Gaemperle, executive vice president of human resources at LVMH, who was wearing a big white shirt with a muddy print of the Eiffel Tower.


“Closing the gender gap will still take 130 years, according to recent estimates in the World Economic Forum. God, that’s taking too long! As a percentage of global GDP, women’s control over home expenditures exceeds that of both China and India put together. Thousands of women have been helped by LVMH to achieve wage fairness; just think of the power that could be! Gaemperle added.


A new group digital mentorship programme was inaugurated on March 8 by the group, and the first ever Olympics and Paralympics with full gender parity will be held this summer in Paris, where LVMH is a significant sponsor.


Speaking about Women@Dior & UNESCO as “a public/private alliance to make a better world,” Isabelle Faggianelli, VP for Corporate Social Responsibility at LVMH, mentioned that the programme now has over 400 mentees and 300 mentors annually.


An increasingly pressing concern is AI, which, according to multiple speakers, has the potential to perpetuate gender norms and the subordination of women.


Women have a lower probability of getting acknowledged or contacted for a job since thousands of decisions are already based on AI and they are underrepresented in the data. “Unless it is appropriately directed, AI is amplifying inequality,” stated Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director General for Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO.


Dior decision-makers Marie-Céline Dupuy D’Angeac and Anne-Valérie Narcy, UNESCO Lifelong Learning Systems Director Borhene Chakroun, influencer Lena Mahfouf, and film producer Virginia Valsecchi—who highlighted the extraordinary narrative of

In the 1960s, a courageous Sicilian named Franca Viola became the first Italian woman to win a judgement in an Italian court against a rapist who had planned to marry her.


As hundreds of female attendees posed for a group selfie on the main stage, Voice2Gether performed from the upper gallery to close out the evening. The sisters are acting independently.

Ethan Sullivan

Ethan's penchant for the pulse of the fashion world extends to covering lifestyle topics, offering readers a seamless blend of the latest style updates and lifestyle trends.

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