For years, some of the people involved in organizing this network, particularly Prof. Liliana Popescu, have documented the frequent occurrence of all-male panels in various public events and mass media broadcasts. This is not a Romanian phenomenon, not a Eastern and South-Eastern European phenomenon, not even a European one.
Some women in the world baptized these panels composed exclusively by men (we often see on TV or in conferences) MANELS (Male pANELS). We decided to organize a FANELS conference, composed exclusively of women (FANELS – from Female pANELS). SNSPA is known to be a leading university in the area of women and minorities’ rights, and therefore represents the optimal institutional framework for organizing this type of event.
Women who do not describe themselves as feminists recognized that this is an injustice, and therefore they joined in support of the idea of organizing a first all-female conference in Bucharest („Romania, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe in the New World (Dis)Order”,5th of March 2020 – at the National University for Political and Administrative Studies, SNSPA).
We organized this conference with great pleasure and with a constructive attitude. We acknowledge that many male colleagues do not realize that they often talk only one to another, and that we, women, find it strange to see only men talking on topics that we are also concerned with, and that we have the expertise to talk about. We relied on the visual impact of an exclusively female participation in panels / FANELS. It was like a mirror.
The conference was a succesful event – so much so that we decided to build a network of women specialists in the wide area of international relations – political sciences, for women in the Eastern and South-Eastern region.
We received the moral and financial support to organize our first FANELS conference from the SNSPA and from the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.