This is Bob Doughty with the VOA Special English program, IN THENEWS.
About six-hundred business,professional and governmental leaders gathered in Barcelona, Spain,last week for the Global Summit of Women. The three-day meetingdealt with economic development for women around the world.
The Global Summit of Women brought together women from more thanseventy countries. The largest delegations this year were fromSpain, the United States and Kazakhstan.
Several governments sent trade officials to the summit, includingthe United States, Iceland and Canada. The American group was led byAssistant Secretary of Commerce Maria Cino (SEE-no). Female businessleaders and government officials spoke at the meeting. They includedvice presidents, deputy prime ministers and ministers of employment,science and technology from several countries.
The Global Summit of Women began in nineteen-ninety. It has beenheld every year since nineteen-ninety-seven. The majority of womenattending the meeting are owners of small businesses. The meetingoffers women a chance to increase business and professionalrelationships and to exchange ideas. It aims to increase women'seconomic progress even though there are cultural barriers in manycountries.
The summit dealt with problems that women face in starting orexpanding businesses. It provided information in many areas. Forexample, the meeting provided information about doing business onthe Internet computer system and developing effective Web sites. Thewomen also discussed how to get financial support for businessowners and form important business alliances.
Other issues included how health crises and environmentalconcerns influence business. The women discussed how to turntraditional activities into successful modern businesses. And theyalso discussed how women can balance many concerns in their lives,including work, family and health.
The director of the Global Summit of Women is Irene Natividad ofthe United States. Mizz Natividad says in Europe, Canada and theUnited States, at least one-third of all small and medium-sizebusinesses are now owned by women. And she says eighty percent ofsmall businesses in developing countries are owned and led by women.Mizz Natividad says small businesses are an important part of everyfree market economy.
Mizz Natividad says women are also an important part of everyeconomy. Yet she says many businesses fail to recognize theimportance of women. She says women must do more to gain economicequality.
She also called on women to do more to improve the education ofgirls and women around the world, especially in science and math.She says this is important for the new world economy.
This VOA Special English program, IN THE NEWS, was written byCynthia Kirk. This is Bob Doughty.