Second Gentleman Pool Reports of November 11, 2021

November 11, 2021

Pool Report by Joseph Boyle, Agence France-Presse

Sent: Reports:
November 11, 2021

SGOTUS travel pool - Hotel de Talleyrand event

Second gentleman Emhoff entered the Grand Dining Room of the former Hotel de Talleyrand in Paris at 2.10 pm (CET).

He joined guests around a long table in the dining room of the hotel, which was built in the 18th century and now owned by the US State Department. The dining hall has grand marble columns with gold decorations. A huge chandelier hangs from the ceiling. The guests sat flanked by flags of the US and France, mounted on 10ft poles. The building hosted negotiations that led to the Marshall Plan after World War II.

In general comments at the start of the session, Emhoff stressed how he had seen "first hand" a lot of the problems women face, and how he was "humbled and honoured" to be asked to join the event.

He repeated quotes made by VP Harris that "the status of women is also the status of democracy", and that "when you lift up women, you lift up everyone".
"We need to do this," he said. "We share these hopes with France."

"Advancing gender equality, it's been said, is a shared deeply held value between France and the United States and I really have felt that during this trip. But the urgency of this issue cannot be understated. We cannot let anything slide, we need to continue to focus on it and move forward."

"Covid-19, we've seen with our own eyes, has made everything that was bad, worse. It has magnified these existing barriers that we know disproportionately impact women and especially women of colour."

"This issue concerns everyone, not just women... Our societies cannot succeed unless everyone succeeds," he said, before handing the floor to Elisabeth Moreno, France's equalities minister. After brief comments where she highlighted her rise from humble beginnings to leadership positions in both business and politics, each of the eight guests introduced themselves and spoke a little about gender equality.

At the end of the hour-long event, Emhoff stressed the importance of women who have been successful to continue to act as role models for others.

"One of things I've learnt from being married to Kamala Harris is that to be first in so many things is hard. She said once that breaking barriers involves breaking, and when you break something sometimes you get cut, and when you get cut, sometimes you bleed... But it's worth it."

Closing the event, he reflected on the role men need to play in backing women. "I just did this on the regular. I just thought it was the right thing to do to support women. I always have... Men need to step up and be part of the solution and not be part of the problem. I'm going to do everything I can in this role to keep on messaging that."

The event ended at 3.17 pm.

From OVP:

Event Summary
Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff will join Elisabeth Moreno, France's Minister for Gender Equality, Diversity, and Equal Opportunities, for a listening session with leaders on gender equity and alumni from U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs. The alumni will share how these experiences shaped their commitment to gender equity and civic engagement.

Listening Session Participants

  • Douglas Emhoff, Second Gentleman of the United States
  • Elisabeth Moreno, Minister for Gender Equality, Diversity, and Equal Opportunities
  • Jean Guo, 2015 U.S. Fulbright alumna, co-founder of Konexio
  • Gabrielle Cowan, Political Counselor, U.S. Embassy Paris
  • Marion Choueib, Founder of Famosport, 2021 Start US Up alumna
  • Jennifer Ekemi, Student, Master 1 Financial Criminal Law at CY Cergy Paris University; 2018 Women 2 Women alumna
  • Melissa Lassouane, Student, Master 1 Management & Organisation at Paris-Dauphine; 2018 Women 2 Women alumna
  • Celine Mas, President, ONU Femmes
  • Julienne Ngoya Kabanagi, Head of Operations, Federation Alma; 2014 Youth Ambassador for Community Service alumna
  • Benedicte Peyrol, Member of Parliament; 2010 Fulbright Summer Institutes for Outstanding European Leaders
  • Monika Queisser, OECD Senior Counsellor

Doug Emhoff, Second Gentleman Pool Reports of November 11, 2021 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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