Bogotá: The President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), Bodour Al Qasimi, has hailed the need for coordinated efforts to address challenges encountered by women professionals in publishing and to offer solutions for reinforcing their empowerment in the industry, during her recent visit to Colombia and Argentina.
The IPA President met with María Juliana Ruiz Sandoval, First Lady, Republic of Colombia, at Casa de Nariño in Bogotá, and discussed successful women’s empowerment strategies implemented in the two countries. Bodour Al Qasimi also shared the initiatives of the Kalimat Foundation that are promoting diversity in the Arab publishing sector.
In her meetings with publishers and industry stakeholders during the visit, the IPA President reiterated the need to improve practices in the publishing industry and called for prioritising the training of female publishers to build capacities, close skills gaps, and develop inclusive business ecosystems.
In Colombia, Bodour Al Qasimi met with Diana Escobar, Vice President of Sustainable Development at Ecopetrol Colombia, and officials of the Regional Centre for the Promotion of Books in Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLALC), to discuss the scope for collaborations in the training of female publishers. She also met Angelica Mayolo, Colombian Minister of Culture, and explored opportunities for collaboration with IPA, especially in the field of diversity and inclusion, and thereby strengthen the presence and role of women in the industry.
In Argentina, the IPA President outlined strategies for empowering women in the publishing industry in a panel discussion with Ana Maria Cabanellas, President of Grupo Editorial Claridad, one of Argentina’s leading publishing houses.
During her meeting with member publishers of the Colombian Book Chamber, Bodour Al Qasimi discussed issues relating to sustainability and explored the challenges of paper shortages and its impact on the publishing sector. In her meeting with Argentinian publishers, the IPA President reiterated her support for the recovery and growth of publishing markets impacted by the global pandemic and urged publishers to take advantage of the upskilling and capacity-building opportunities offered under the IPA Academy, which is now live.
Al Qasimi also attended the opening ceremony of the Buenos Aires International Book Fair and toured the International Book Fair in Bogota during her visit to the two Latin American countries.