Entrepreneur Susana Balbo, IICA’s first female Goodwill Ambassador
Buenos Aires, 15 November 2018 (IICA). Susana Balbo, Chair of W20 Argentina, became the first female Goodwill Ambassador of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). In this role, she will foster development, inclusion and empowerment, with special emphasis on matters related to gender and rural youth.
The Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero, presented Susana Balbo with the award during a ceremony at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina. Balbo, a world-renowned Argentinian businesswoman, will undertake the mission to promote cooperation initiatives, projects and activities of the hemispheric agency for agricultural development that are aimed at driving the inclusion and empowerment of women who live and work in the countryside, as well as those aimed at benefiting rural youth.
“Rural development strategies will not achieve progress unless we include women. I am certain that we will succeed in accelerating this process with the support of people who share Susana’s capacities and qualities,” stated Otero during the event.
Balbo, Argentina’s first female oenologist, has operated her own winery since 1999, and is internationally renowned for the quality and charm of her products.
In December 2015, she took office as the national representative for the province of Mendoza, located in the western region of the country. She resigned last April to dedicate herself full-time to her coordination duties within Woman 20 (W20), the G20 engagement group for women, which is chaired by Argentina this year.
“Susana is a successful entrepreneur who always strives to undertake new ventures and do things differently. She made a successful foray into politics and carried out effective work within the W20. This gives us great pride,” stated Otero, in addition to mentioning that gender is a cross-cutting issue in all of IICA’s work programs.
“If we succeed in actively incorporating women, as well as in ensuring that their rights are respected and that their wages are recorded, women will be able to access health services and achieve a dignified retirement,” explained Balbo upon receiving the Goodwill Ambassador title.
In addition to highlighting women’s role in rural areas, the businesswoman expressed her commitment to undertake actions to help women so that “they no longer need to migrate to urban areas in order to fulfill their rights.”
Susana Balbo also co-authored the book “Warriors - Rural Women Around the World,” which was recently published by IICA and compiles written pieces by 28 authors who, from very diverse perspectives, examine the status of rural women and their real contribution to agriculture and development in rural areas.
Daniela Falcão, Director General of the Brazilian publishing company Edições Globo Condé Nast, and Argentinian fashion designer Verónica Alfíe, who also wrote articles for the “Warriors” book, attended the event in Buenos Aires and signed copies of the book along with Balbo. Ambassador Pedro Villagra Delgado, Argentina’s Sherpa for the G20, highlighted Susana Balbo’s work as the head of W20, in which IICA served as co-chair for its work on Rural Women.
The IICA Goodwill Ambassadors Program forms part of an initiative of the Inter-American organization that seeks to address the challenges and opportunities for agriculture in the hemisphere, which requires collaborative work with private-sector institutions and civil society organizations.
IICA’s Goodwill Ambassadors share concerns and commitments related to the achievement of sustainable and equitable development. They are also willing to join a cause aimed at increasing public awareness and strengthening development through projects related to food security, bioeconomy, gender and youth, responsible production or climate change, which are key topics in IICA’s agenda.
Institutional Communication Division of IICA