The European Forum Alpbach (EFA) strives for bringing together different voices. A democracy must listen to all of its citizens’ perspectives in order to represent them. This is why the EFA is taking extra efforts to encourage non-male contributors, both in programming and participation.
Women* still are underrepresented in many aspects of public life. It is common sense that a society cannot prosper, politically or economically, if half of its population is entirely or partially excluded. Feminism has made this deficit visible in the past decades – and it is our task to do something about it. The European Forum Alpbach has a long history of great minds and high-level discussions. Unfortunately, feminist issues have missing for far too long: the first official record of a working group on gender questions only dates back to 1986.
In the EFA World of Women* initiative, we are bringing together all efforts to increase the visibility of women* at the EFA event and achieve a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the challenges Europe is facing. We firmly believe that our world needs everyone – male, female and non-binary – on board to find solutions to the multiple crises of our time: climate change, challenges to democracy, the financing of our future, and geopolitical security issues.
Since women* are also an underused resource in modern economies, we aim to provide professional networking opportunities for women* in Alpbach to increase their possibilities in the working world. The EFA World of Women* is carried by all female board members and was initiated by women* from the EFA Board and Council, the Forum Alpbach Network, our partner organisations, and members of the EFA Association. In 2023, EFA applies the diversity criterion “gender equality” to everything happening onsite and women* will be especially encouraged to take a seat and speak up. There will be a networking space every lunch break from the Lab Days to the Austria in Europe Days at Alphof (12:30-13:30) and various sessions with a strong female perspective on key topics, such as:
In the aftermath of the annual event, EFA publishes its gender distribution among the participants: scholarship holders (2022: 60 % female), contributors (2022: 45 % female), other participants (2022: 42 % female). Stay tuned for the EFA23 numbers!