THE BLOG

WIE Awards: The Room Will Be Full of Energy That Wants to Transcend Into Change

25/04/2015 10:47 BST | Updated 25/06/2015 10:59 BST

As professionals and leaders in our communities we have opportunities to use our influence to make a difference. That is exactly what will happen on Monday. I will have the great privilege to be a part of an amazing event hosted by the Women: Inspiration & Enterprise (WIE) Network and I soooo look forward to it. The event will use the energy of different communities to send the message that violence against women and girls is a violation of a basic human right - to live a life free of violence.

Every day from the Pacific to Canada, Brazil to Nigeria, from my native Bosnia to the UK (the country that so many years ago gave a me a refuge that today I call home), women and girls - our friends, neighbours, sisters, daughters, aunts, and mothers - are beaten by their partners, have acid thrown in their faces, are harassed in a school, on a street or via Internet, raped in parks or on their way to markets. Globally, one in three women will experience physical or sexual violence at some point in her life. Every rape, harassment, act of domestic violence, female genital mutilation or child marriage is a breach of a promise given to women and girls in every country. They are a breach of the promise to us all and our jointly established principles of integrity, fairness and basic human rights.

Every time I hear stories of women and girls survivors across the world, I am deeply struck by the dreadfulness of their experiences, their courage in telling the story and their strength to keep going forward. It is because of these women and girls that we and our communities must come together not only in celebrating the diversities of the beauty of womanhood, but to bring about a real change for those among us who live their lives in despair. It is for these women and girls that we must use our energy, our individual privileges and those of our diverse communities, to unleash the power of opportunities for all women and girls around the world.

This is why we are so proud of our partnerships with the WIE Network, We-Are {The Collective} and all amazing individuals and supporters that will join us at the WIE Network Gala on Monday night to stand up together and say NO to violence against women and girls.

The fashion show that will take place that night in London is the culmination of a year long project between, WIE Network, LDNY, Parsons New York, London College of Fashion and a group of international female artisans coming from Mongolia, Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea.

The show will be hosted by Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council, Professor Frances Corner, Head of London College of Fashion, Miriam Durantez Gonzalez, leading international lawyer and the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.

So many worlds will come together in that one night - the world of fashion and the next generation of design talents from the United Kingdom and United States, female artisans from emerging economies, honorees of the Fifth Annual WIE Awards, media, business, politics and human rights. The room will be full of energy that wants to transcend into change. Energy that wants to empower, provide opportunities, encourage and lead the change. We will celebrate the achievements and contributions of individuals like Natalie Massenet, Joanna Lumley, Malaika Firth, Dame Zaha Hadid and Baroness Shriti Vadera. And we will call for the world free of violence against women and girls and trail-blaze the new paths in addressing this global pandemic and violation of the basic human right to a life free of violence.