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Florence School of Transnational Governance - European University Institute

On IWD, the Florence STG community reflects on female trailblazers

On International Women’s Day, 8 March 2024, we asked community members at the Florence STG to reflect on the achievements and lasting impacts of remarkable women.

08 March 2024 | Video

STG_IWD video

The video presents a series of questions crafted to inspire participants, including Master students, researchers, and staff, to share their thoughts and perspectives on women's roles, accomplishments, and inspirations. Throughout the video, participants seized the opportunity to express their admiration for notable female figures who have significantly influenced their understanding of the world or guided them on their academic journeys.

Among the remarkable women mentioned were trailblazers across various fields, including science, literature, policy-making, academia, and activism. The diverse responses highlighted the importance of recognising women's contributions across different fields and offered a glimpse into the diverse range of women who have left indelible marks on history.

One such trailblazer mentioned was Susan Strange, a pioneering British scholar whose groundbreaking work in international political economy earned her recognition as one of the most influential thinkers in her field. Marina Cino Pagliarello, a Fellow at Florence STG, lauded Strange's extensive body of work and expertise, highlighting her remarkable ability to balance her academic pursuits with the responsibilities of being a wife and mother to six children.

Another influential scholar mentioned in the video was Hannah Arendt, whose profound insights into the nature of power and evil continue to resonate to this day. Virginia Fiume, a Policy Fellow at Florence STG, lauded Arendt for her exploration of these themes, emphasizing her thought-provoking reflections on the dangers of moral complacency. Notably, the Florence STG honors Arendt's immense contributions having dedicated one of our classrooms in Palazzo Buontalenti to her memory.

The video also features acknowledgements of other notable women from diverse backgrounds. Nicolas Azocar Rojel, a Policy Leader Fellow, highlighted Chilean author Gabriela Mistral for inspiring Latin America with her poetry, while Jeremiah Nyambinya, another Policy Leader Fellow, commended Hungarian American biochemist Katalin Karikó for her resilience in the race to create the COVID-19-vaccine. Yen Mooi, a Visiting Fellow, drew attention to former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, for her inspired leadership. Matilda Mahne, a Project Associate, expressed her admiration for three remarkable women she would invite to an International Women’s Day-themed dinner party: 24th President of Liberia and first elected female head of state in Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; Finnish politician and diplomat, Elisabeth Rehn; and Portuguese singer and songwriter, MARO.

Among our Master's Students, Niamh Curran mentioned Judith Butler for challenging conventional, heteronormative notions of gender and developing their theory of gender performativity, while Dorine Buchot cited Claire Nouvian for her for her advocacy for ocean conservation, and in an alternate universe, Sophie Chevalier would totally choose to be the first female pilot in history.

If Master’s student Nevada Lee could magically speak any language she would choose to be in the same room with Cleopatra to converse with Cleopatra to discuss the intricacies of ruling Egypt, while EMIF Fundraising Associate Annachiara Zardini wished to travel back in time to the Roman Empire when women faced fewer sexual stereotypes.

The contributions and reflections of all participants serve as a testament to the enduring legacy of women who have blazed trails, shattered glass ceilings, and inspired generations to come. Watch all the tributes here.

Last update: 08 March 2024

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