“Gender equality is not a women’s thing”

Jennifer Vidmo, regional director, We Effect Asia

Jennifer Vidmo, regional director, We Effect Asia

Jennifer Vidmo is We Effect Asia’s new Regional Director. A former humanitarian aid worker, she now brings her experience to We Effect’s mission on ending poverty, with gender equality.

– Without women, we will not be successful in our struggle to end poverty and the vast inequalities in the world. Working together, both men and women is equally important as creativity and determination.

Before joining We Effect, Jennifer worked for Clowns Without Borders, mainly with humanitarian aid projects. She knows, first hand, who are affected the worst in critical situations.

– I have worked in refugee camps, prisons, villages affected by natural disasters and in extreme poor environments in more than 20 countries.

It is evident that girls and women are likely to suffer more, being further away from access to their human rights.

Next week, March 8:th, the world will come together to highlight the International Women’s day. Jennifer has mixed feelings about it.

– I have received flowers, chocolates or a very well-intended “congratulations” on March 8. But I hope for more, that everyone extends their appreciation for the contribution of women in their everyday life to every day. of the year. I don’t think a one day celebration is enough, I think it is a mindset that needs to be changed, and a one day celebration of half of the worlds population will not take us where we need to go.

Being passionate for women’s rights, Jennifer also stresses that men have an equally important part to play.

–  In development work as well as in all work for gender equality, it is important to stress the togetherness. It is not a women’s thing to reach equal opportunities, it is an important work that includes both men and women. Equally.

This year, We Effect will launch new programmes in all six countries in Asia where the organisation works. Gender equality is an integral part of all the programmes, but there is another key element. Togetherness.

– We Effect was founded 60 years ago by the cooperative movement in Sweden. We know that the key to success is working together. Our programmes are all designed by the same people that will implement and ultimately benefit from the change they are creating. This That is creates long-term, sustainable, development.

Ho Chi Minh City is your new home town, and six countries in Asia is your new “office”. What are your feelings going forward?
– I am proud, humbled and excited for all the work that will be done in the region in the coming years. I am looking forward to our new level of equality!

Text och photo: Marcus Lundstedt