An all-female panel heading this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) has called for a fairer economic system for women, which also effectively combats corruption, rising inequality and climate change.
“We want to demonstrate that without testosterone, we are able to find good practical solutions,” said Christiane Lagarde, director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)external link, in Davos on Tuesday.
Lagarde is one of seven women from the business, politics, science and union worlds who have been invited to co-lead proceedings at the annual glitzy WEF gathering. Together, they have launched a #metoo campaign against corruption and tax evasion which aims at reforming the economic hierarchy.
She was accompanied by the prime minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, who also pointed out that the fight against illegal financial channels is essential in order to meet the United Nations sustainable development goals. Tax evasion and corruption cost governments millions which could be used for development projects, she added.
Message to Trump
In her speech, Sharan Burrow, the general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederationexternal link, said she hoped that the forthcoming WEF visit by Donald Trump – “Mister Testosterone” would not be “a distraction from important goals”.
She also demanded a new social contract for the world: “85% of people want a new economic system which serves the people, because they are affected by inequality and job insecurity”.
Addressing a message to Trump, Solberg said: “we need a US which contributes in the global arena in order to achieve the global development goals.”
Uninspiring economic order
“Trump’s derogatory remarks about women only brought women closer together,” remarked WEF co-leader, Chetna Sinha, a famous women’s rights advocate from India. Sinha, who regards herself as a voice of rural women, opened the first bank for village women in 1996. The institution is supported by the Mann Deshi foundationexternal link, dedicated to empowering female entrepreneurs and their communities.
Another female leader, Isabelle Kocher, the CEO of the French energy company Engi, criticised society’s model as uninspiring and unsustainable, adding that it generated ‘unhappiness’.
“I’ve got a strong will to change the system towards more equality and sustainability,” Kocher said.