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Old 04-13-2017, 06:28 PM
Muhler's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Eastern Jutland, Denmark
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Summary of interview in Billed Bladet #15, 2017.
Interviewer: Ulrik Ulriksen.

Note: Formal You is here spelled with capital Y, just as it is in Danish.

Q: What has impressed You the most during the visit to Bangladesh?
Mary explains that Bangladesh is a very poor country, with a lot of poverty and over-population on top of that the country is very vulnerable to the climate changes.
Nevertheless the country has managed to half the the number who live in poverty. And the fertility rate has gone down from 6 to 2.3 children over the past 40 years.
Mary is also impress over the drive the women have, especially when given the opportunity to educate themselves and getting the means to fully exploit their potential, benefiting the society as a whole.

Q: Why is equality between the sexes so important and thus the 17th world-goal of UN's world paragraph 5 about strengthening the economical potential of women?
Mary: "Equality is the key to development. We cannot reach the other 16 world-goals unless we have better gender-equality, where women and girls have equal right and access to healthcare, education and political representation. It's not only the right thing to do. It's also the smartest thing to do".

Q: What does it mean to You, when You meet girls and women who open up completely to You and frankly tell their personal stories?
Mary: "I become deeply moved by the way I'm received..." - She goes on to explain how grateful women are for the aid Denmark has provided since Bangladesh became independent in 1971.
That long term aid means that people are familiar with the Danish relief organizations and as such are more willing to embrace the advise and assistance they get.
"I met a women in the village, who was so proud of her daughter. Her daughter had the highest average of the whole school and the girl wanted to become a doctor. The woman beamed from happiness and pride. She was also proud of her house, which I was invited into".

Q: From where stems Your burning interest in the work for strengthening the rights of women?
Mary: "I was shocked over the situation many women are in, when I some years ago heard obstetrician from Tchad say that when a woman becomes pregnant in Tchad, she has a foot in the grave.
How could that be possible? That's what I thought and then I learned that this problem was only the tip of the iceberg..."
Mary goes on to explain that it was an eye-opener for her. She herself has grown up with gender equality and she had never questioned that issue before, never having personally experienced discrimination.
She also realized that an enormous potential is wasted by not giving women the means, let alone right to develop their potential. As such everyone has a responsibility for fighting for gender equality.

Q: You spoke a couple of years ago in New York about Your work in strengthening women's rights and about using Your special position to make a difference in the area. What development have You gone through over the past years?
..."I use my platform as well as I can and I do what I can to build on this platform in order to get even more opportunities to speak the case and try and bring the right people together in various contexts.
There have been some major events since back then in New York and constantly and continually making an effort, means that I have build up a deeper knowledge and learned more people to know, so may platform has become bigger over time".

Q: What does it mean to You that Your effort has been so well received, not just in Denmark but also internationally?
Mary: "The purpose of my effort is to contribute to a better world by obtaining equality and protection of girls and womens rights. And it makes me glad that there are someone who believe that I contribute to that and is a part of the people who work and fight hard to realize gender equality".

Q: How do You see Your role in the future in struggle for equality, and will You do more within that field?
Mary replies that she has plans in the making, but won't say too much, because they may not be possible or will have to be changed. ... "But I can say one thing and that is that I continue and I would like to grow with that task".

Q: What happens when one return from a working trip like this to Bangladesh?
Mary: "It's very valuable with such a trip, because one of the roles I can take on is to be a voice for the people we put focus on. To be a voice who pass their story on where I can.
We have on this trip experienced that when women get opportunities then they can move very far.
The personal stories we have heard speak for themselves. And that is something I have to pass on. So one of the first things we do, when I come home is to write down the new knowledge, the personal stories and my experiences - so that I don't forget anything.
We have seen a little sample of some projects here in the country which work well, but there is a long way yet to go for a country like Bangladesh".

- Mary sure is not someone who is brief, when she has a message to bring across or talk about something for which she is really passionate!

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Old 04-13-2017, 07:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 912

Thank you Muhler, as always, for your translation. The work of the Crown Princess is inspirational, congratulations to Denmark for such an international development superstar!

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Old 04-14-2017, 03:59 AM
Muhler's Avatar
Imperial Majesty
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Eastern Jutland, Denmark
Posts: 12,045
You are welcome, Gerry.

And one of the more successful Australian exports, eh?

You are right. Her commitment and dedication to the issues she takes on has earned her a lot of respect here in DK. In the population in general and among politicians and other influential people in particular.
But she is also good at presenting the issues and presenting and heading possible solutions, of course within the limits she is bound by (and sometimes exceeding these limits as well), and conveying that in a genuine way to the public. - That's not a mean feat, even if she has been in DK for 17 years.
That's a testament to her mastery of the language as well as a testament to the standing she has in the public eye. A position she hasn't got for free.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:23 AM
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Location: , Germany
Posts: 47,906

Crown Princess Mary met with the CEO of Women Deliver Katja Iversen today, August 9. She was informed about the organization's "activities and efforts to promote gender equality" as well as the preparations for the next Women Deliver Conference in Canada in June 2019.

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