On 29 August, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was in France to take part in the MEDEF Summer University, named “La Rencontre des Entrepreneurs Français” (Meeting of French Entrepreneurs). MEDEF is the largest employer federation in France. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Our future, climate, inequalities, conflicts … What capitalism tomorrow?”. 7000 entrepreneurs took part in the two-day meeting on 28 and 29 August.
The Grand Duchess had meetings with Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, President of the MEDEF, and Pierre Gattaz, former President of the MEDEF and actual president of Business Europe. In the afternoon, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa made her speech. She was invited to talk about the inequalities between men and women as well as women rights following the successful Stand Speak Rise Up! international forum the Grand Duchess organised in Luxembourg last March to stop the use of sexual violence as a war weapon. The international forum aimed to raise awareness and find solutions to end sexual violence in fragile environments. Key actors of the international community in the fight against sexual violence were in attendance as well as sexual violence survivors and leaders from several international organisations. Earlier this summer, the Grand Duchess visited several follow-up projects and stated that she would continue to fight for this cause.
In her speech, the Grand Duchess said: “The place of women in societies partly determines our common future. Equality, the education of young girls, economic independence, but also the struggle
against violence against women are major issues.” She also stated that “to accept all forms of violence against women is undermining the cement of our societies and its future.”
Following her speech, many entrepreneurs in the audience promised to be more watchful of the condition of women in their companies. To conclude the day, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa took part in a question and answer session during which she explained the involvement of French and Luxemburgish companies in her fights for women rights.