Women work harder to become successful: Motta

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Women are fast resuming leadership roles across the globe and Brazil is no exception. Diana Motta, Director of Department of Policies on Accessibility and Urban Planning, MInistry of Cities, Brazil, is one of them

What kind of challenges do women face in politics, whether at national level or local level?
The first challenge that we face is how to secure a position. And then to create a condition to stay there. Secondly, people are always watching how you are playing your role and performing. It’s a big challenge to create a productive environment to bring change. We need to share ideas, experiences and recognize the contribution that we are making. Women have an important role to play in the development of the cities and that includes inclusive cities. And the biggest challenge is women’s education. The woman must be prepared for good education. This is more important. Regarding the leadership, I believe the more participation of women in the society, in the institutions, in the NGOs we will have a much better future for the women.

You yourself are a city leader. How has been your personal journey over the years? What has been your personal experience? What are the challenges you faced as a woman leader?
I can say that we have to work really hard. I am not trying to compare men and women but we have to give more time to our work than one normally does. It is also important that women reach to a position with responsibilities. I think it is important that we never forget our principles regarding our roles in civil society. One must listen to the people you are working for. That is very crucial to formulate good policies, programs and projects. People who live in cities need basic services like transportation, schools, sanitation. And we need to formulate policies that will fix the priorities especially for the people who are poor and lives in slums.

We now have a woman mayor in Rome, we have a woman mayor in Paris and in other countries too. Do you think that women leadership has emerged at the global stage?
I think this process is real. For the first time in history Hillary Clinton could become the President of the United States of America,the most powerful country in the world. What is important is that parliaments and other institutions must open up and accept it. The mentality needs to be changed. Women must get the opportunity to show and express themselves.

We are in the age of smart cities and rapid urbanisation. And there is a danger that in this process the rights of urban poor and marginalized sections getting ignored. You agree with this?
Regarding public policy for the people who are impoverished, it is necessary that the government and the officials take strong responsibility and show commitment. This commitment must reflect in the policies they formulate. The government must create better housing policies, drinking water, sanitation services and affordable transportation for them. In my opinion, in order to achieve all this, we need better policies in place. We are one society and every individual has to take responsibility and contribute in the civil society. It is important that policies must be open in order to receive contribution from communities, organizations and also the private sector.

How do you think this multilateral cooperation like BRICS has shaped over the years?
Regarding the BRICS we have lots of challenges to share. The member nations can contribute for better policies, to exchange best practices. I think together we are stronger. We can develop better policies, programs and projects. The biggest challenge in front of us is to eliminate poverty.