“Bridging the Divide and Empowering Women:

the sharp contribution of skilled women to humanitarian action”


After London 2011, Stockholm 2012, Berlin 2013, Amsterdam 2014, Paris 2015, London 2016, Milan 2017, Copenhagen 2018 and Budapest 2019, the 10th ECWF Conference  was hosted in Liège by Varda Cywie and her wonderful team of the Belgium-Luxemburg Federation.

We had conferences and debates, walks around the city under the sun and Belgium treets. We were hosted for dinner in the Governor’s private apartment in the Palais provincial, a real jewel of architecture. We held our meeting in the town council room – what a unique experience sitting in the chairs of generations of magistrates who ruled the city since 1714! We visited the exhibition “The Rothschild Collection, Female Patrons and Donors par excellence” and were fascinated by the richness and originality of their collections. But above all we experienced the warmth of the welcome and the care of the whole Belgium team, the professionality of the organization and our Varda’s well-known perfectionism. After 3 years of COVID-unfriendly separation we felt spoiled and so happy to come together again. 

On the overall theme “Bridging the Divide and Empowering Women: the sharp contribution of skilled women to humanitarian action”, four vibrant women shared with the audience their experience and knowledge. 

HE Irit Rozenzweig-Abu, Israeli new Ambassador to Belgium- Luxemburg, Vivianne Teitelbaum, member of the Brussels Parliament and former President of the Francophone Women Council of Belgium CFFB and Christine Defraigne, former President of the Belgium Senat and actual Mayor Deputy of Liège participated in a panel discussion moderated by Hanni Seifert  Clic for full report.

Prof Dorit Nitzan, Director of the Emergency Medicine Department, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine & Chair of Food Safety, One Health and Resilience Initiative (BGU-FOR), Ben Gurion University of the Negev, gave her speech by videoconference from Israel. In her back, a colorful Noah’s ark claims “get ready to help”. She quotes Doris Lessing: “What is a hero without love for mankind?” She explains health is not only medicine. Health is also feeling well, belonging.  For her, considering the invisible wounds it causes in addition to the numbers of dead or wounded, war is a disease. She reports about WHO operating in Ukraine. She explains about One Health, a holistic approach which recognizes that food systems, health and resilience of people are woven together with nature.  Clic to Dorit Nitzan’s presentation

Katharina Von Schnurbein, Coordinator at European Commission on combating anti-Semitism and fostering Jewish life, explained about her mission at the EC and about her own ways in leading it. Promoting the adoption of IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, fighting for the implementation by each European country of the latest resolution adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly , that formulates effective measures to combat anti-Semitism, working tightly together with the civil society and taking the floor in every forum, KvS is a voice and a tireless fighter. At a time when Jewish communities feel more and more threatened in Europe, her personal commitment at our side in her European mission is a beacon of hope.