Monday, March 1, 2010

The Power of Women

Today I attended Women's Reception, hosted by International Visitors Council and National Association of Women in Business. The event brought a delegation of 18 women entrepreneurs from all over the world, including Afghanistan, Armenia, Macedonia, Namibia, Nigeria and Palestine. It was a very interesting event in which we discussed the many issues facing women in business around the world. The best part, for me, was sitting in a room at the historic Ebell, an educational and philanthropic organization founded by women in 1894, with women of all ages from all parts of the globe discussing our role in society. I thought back to an article I had read earlier that day that discussed the role of women in development in Afghanistan.

“It is a simple fact that no country can get ahead if half its population is left behind. We know from an accumulating body of studies and research from governments, multilateral organizations, corporations and think tanks that investing in women is the single most effective development strategy that we have for poverty alleviation, economic growth and a country’s general prosperity."

This is a common theme in the study of gender and development, but the "Girl Effect" is being discussed in a more broad context, like this article about supporting women as a national security issue. seems so obvious to me, how can a country develop fully if one half of the population is unable to participate. I was so thrilled to see Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof amplify this point in his book “Half the Sky.” This Thursday, March 4th, International Woman's Day, theaters around the world will be showing a documentary version of the book.

"International Women’s Day and be inspired to help women and girls everywhere turn oppression into opportunity. Featuring musical performances, celebrity commentary and the world premiere of “Woineshet,” a short film by Academy Award® winner Marisa Tomei and Lisa Leone. Also with appearances from, India.Arie, Maria Bello, Diane Birch, Michael Franti, Dr. Helene Gayle, Angelique Kidjo, Nicholas Kristof, Marisa Tomei, Sarah, Duchess of York and others."

Click here for the events page for details and to find a theater near you participating in this amazing ONE NIGHT ONLY event.

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