Thursday, 23 September 2010

From Tokyo to Dhaka

The 2010 WLN is done and dusted. Four hectic days of women (and some men) delegates, putting forward their agendas, networking, lobbying, networking, horse trading, networking and showcasing best practice in women's empowerment.  The Japanese ran it like clockwork and put on great cultural events, from Japanese drumming, to Japanese rappers and, what else, a fabulous kimono fashion show.

Yours truly was on the recommendations (to APEC leaders) Drafting Committee and also invited to speak by the Japan Association for Women's Education on Day 2 of the WLN meeting.  I tabled the need for women to have so-called 'meta-competencies' to give them the opportunity to develop to their full potential in the knowledge economy, yet also manage to have a fulfilling lifestyle (the proverbial work-life balance).

Ahh that work-life balance ~ easier said than done!  I see women of all cultures and ages struggle with this.  A friend once told me that she'd rather see me be an alcoholic than a workaholic (guilty!), although I'm unconvinced spending one's life in a blur is a good trade-off. Japan's women are still very much expected to put out the slippers for their husband at the end of his day. Those that opt for a career (such as the Shisheido exec panelist in the pic) appear to have to trade off career vs. marriage..

The WLN done and dusted, but don't want to leave you with the impression that it was all business..there were a few visits to the Sky Bar on the 45th floor of our hotel overlooking Tokyo. After a very late last night I dragged myself out of bed at 5:30 AM, got on an airport shuttle to Narita to catch a flight to Hong Kong and onwards to Dhaka. 

Arrived in chaotic Dhaka late last night  ~ a 180 degree change from Japan!


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