The largest women’s conference around the globe was held in New Delhi from May 16 to 21

Women Economic Forum 2016 concluded in New Delhi on May 21. More than 1,200 Women from 109 countries gathered at Pullman, New Delhi for a week-long conference from May 16 to 21. The conference was organised by All Ladies League (ALL)—the world’s largest congregation of women with a community of more than 30,000 members and 450 global chapters in 109 countries.

The second annual Women Economic Forum was hosted for creating the vision of a more innovative, safer and business-friendly reality for all through the forum delegates who came and exchanged not only their views on the most controversial issues but also solutions to these problems.

ALL Women Economic Forum was established by Dr Harbeen Arora in 2015 to bring together women from All Ladies League chapters around the world, and to ask and answer questions pertaining to global women’s issues. As a result of that, Women Economic Forum (WEF) grew to be more than a 'conference. It is a highly engaged, energetic, and effervescent setting, as it is part of an ongoing movement of women’s greater leadership in the context of ALL.

In her welcome speech Dr Arora, Global Chairperson, Women Economic Forum stated, “It is not my individual vision; it has come from all of you to unite humanity. This year you are here on WEF to ignite your inner flame into larger flame. Each one of us is like a pearl. When we unite together it will become a precious necklace. We will expand this energy through this circle [of] Women Economic Forum till we reach the goal. Let’s create an atmosphere and environment with powerful, positive energy intact within during this six days of Women Economic Forum conference to bring change by uplifting and uniting the world through women’s leadership and entrepreneurship.” She concluded her speech saying that there are many obstacles in life, but conversion of obstacle to opportunity is possible by positive energy, which we all are capable of. Let’s do it.

It is important to remember that women represent a growth market more than twice as big as China and India combined. They control $20 trillion in global consumer spending, own or operate between 25–33% of all private businesses, and earn an estimated $13 trillion in a global scale.

Among invited speakers and guests there was a wide span of expertise in leadership, economics, technology, innovation, health, spirituality, leadership, and research. The attendees at the conference spent six days deliberating how women can uplift and unite the world. There is strength in feminine role models that energises women’s entrepreneurship and leadership. Women from all walks of lives, from grassroots to top leadership positions, participated in this historical event.

Led by the Country Chairperson for New Zealand Annu Sharma, there was a seven-member delegation from New Zealand that attended the forum. The delegation included Jessica Phuang, Mandeep Kaur, Gurmeeta Singh, Shirley Quan, Valerie Meyer and National MP Parmjeet Parmar. The delegation had a big impact and the sessions presented garnered a great response from the audience. Mandeep Kaur’s presentation on her life journey inspired a large audience.

The highlight of the Forum for New Zealand was when three Kiwi women were honoured at the event.
Dr Parmar was honoured with an award for Iconic Women Leaders & Policy Makers Creating a Better World for All alongside other political leaders from the United States, Panama, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Jo Pennycuick, Managing Director of New Zealand-based Redesign Interior Architecture Ltd, was awarded the Iconic Business Leader of the Decade award alongside other women business leaders from across the world.

Annu Sharma, CEO and Founder of I am Woman, was awarded the Iconic Women Leaders of the Decade envisioning a United World award alongside other women leaders from other countries.

During this year’s Women Economic Forum, participants also debated and deliberated on globalisation issues and the best ways of uplifting and uniting the world through safety and security. The role of women in maintaining international peace is crucial. If half of the world population still faces problems of discrimination, global peace will be impossible to achieve. The Women Economic Forum debate concentrated on finding new solutions to old problems. Women have been focused on building consensus in peace negotiations process. They intend to build more bridges than walls, yet global conflicts are arising. WEF 2016 postulated for a safer and more secured world for all. Coming together from the grassroots level for a dialogue with leaders in diplomacy, politics, and economy, we can achieve progress.

On the final day of WEF conference, Hon. Smt Smriti Irani, Minister of Human Resource Development Government of India, delivered highly impressive, inspiring, and powerful messages to the conference, which energised and inspired all those present. In spite of being the youngest minister under the current government, her confidence in her work and ability and the charisma of her persona was a force to reckon with.

She stated, “Women have the DNA not only to lead but [also] to succeed once their mind set is fixed.”

Her message was clear: if you want to help, help one illiterate girl or woman to become literate and help her to be independent to lead a happy life.

She said that women should get inspired from other’s success stories but should not become copy cats or Xerox. Establish your own way and style. Pave your own path.

The Kiwi delegation has come back with some inspirational learning, which they hope to share with other women in the community. The dates for the Women Economic Forum 2017 have already been announced and those wishing to attend, can contact Annu Sharma at