Vision 2020 Leads Discussion on Women’s Leadership in Global Conflict at Scottish Parliament
June 17, 2013
By Mary Flannery
From left: Steve Miner, Ohio University history professor; Yvonne McEwen, honorary fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for the Study of Modern Conflict and a Vision 2020 International delegate; Tom Clonan, Irish Times security analyst and Irish Army Captain (Ret.); Vision 2020 delegate from Texas, Col. Kimberly Olson (USAF, Ret.); Lynn Yeakel, IWHL director.
Drexel’s Vision 2020 project carried its message of advancing gender equality to Edinburgh, Scotland last week when founder and co-chair Lynn Yeakel moderated a panel discussion on "The Impact of Women's Leadership in Global Conflict" at Scottish Parliament.
The prestigious panel discussion on June 14 was the culmination of the three-day conference, "Women and Warfare: From Troy to the Trenches," at the University of Edinburgh that focused on the diversity of roles women have played in warfare from antiquity to current conflicts.
Vision 2020, a project of Drexel’s Institute of Women’s Health and Leadership, was invited to participate in the conference by Yvonne McEwen, an honorary fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for the Study of Modern Conflict and a Vision 2020 International Delegate.
The panelists for the discussion at Scottish Parliament included a Vision 2020 delegate from Texas, Col. Kimberly Olson (USAF, Ret.), president and CEO of Grace After Fire, an organization that serves women veterans in that state.
Other panelists included Megan Bastick, a lawyer and the Gender & Security Fellow with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, an intergovernmental organization of which the United Kingdom and the United States are members; Tom Clonan, Irish Times security analyst, a retired Irish Army Captain and internationally recognized expert and scholar on terrorism and combat, including women in combat; and Afaf I. Meleis, the Margaret Bond Simon Dean at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, professor of nursing and sociology, and director of the school’s WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership. Meleis is a Vision 2020 Ambassador.
"Vision 2020 was honored to participate in this conference that acknowledged the substantial contributions women have made as leaders, caregivers, participants and journalists during times of conflict, as well as the abuse of women and girls in wars throughout history,” said Yeakel, director of the College of Medicine’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership. “The panel discussion at Parliament highlighted the importance of increasing the number of women in leadership and ensuring the protection of women during wartime.
“This international conference provided an ideal opportunity to showcase Vision 2020’s work on behalf of women’s equality and to build new coalitions to advance shared goals," she added. "We were honored to represent Drexel University in this setting of scholars and public policy experts.”