SARAH HARDER’S INTERNATIONAL MISSION
More and more often women take senior positions in global politics. They motivate others to set their goals high and conquer all the heights. News agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community continues its series of articles on women-leaders.
Sarah Harder is an Honorary Professor of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She has also been the President of the National Peace Foundation since 2006. Ms. Harder is an international gender equality advocate. Thus, she has been working with various gender-related NGOs and public organisations for 30 years already. Sarah considers promotion of exact sciences and technological professions among women one of her primary goals. She is sure, “We should do everything to make girls believe in themselves and strive for success”.
It is interesting, she began her social work after defending her own rights for the first time. The thing is, after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and receiving joint degrees in history and English, Sarah Harder began teaching there. In 1973, shortly before giving birth to her 4th child, she was denied a two-week leave. As she told herself, “I began negotiating with male-dominated board and finally got what I wanted; they listened to me”. In Sarah’s interview to the EWC, during the ‘Women’s Dialogue. Infinity Charity’ forum she also mentioned that small victory of hers. According to Ms. Harder, it demonstrated her the imperfection of public attitudes toward women. That is why, at her work at the time, she considered it her duty to create highly comfortable conditions for both students and lecturers. In the end, she achieved maternity leave for women-professors of her university alongside entering college on preferable terms for Eau Claire enrollees with low income.
Being the President of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for 4 years already, Sarah Harder contributed greatly to the development of education for young women. Our heroine launched many projects concerning developing education systems through social programmes. In the early 90s, Ms. Harder, as a member of the National Peace Foundation, began her vibrant activity in developing women’s NGOs in Russia. She commented: “My belief is, Russia’s future is in its women. When I came here for the first time, I was astonished at how good local women are in mastering new technologies and exact sciences”. In 2006, after becoming the President of the National Peace Foundation, Sarah highlighted the special role of women in social life. According to her, the level of female representation in technology field is the main factor of achieving policy of openness in the modern world. That is why it is essential to develop women’s leadership potential.
Sukhrob Sharipov, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Boykov