Roosevelt Institute's Women and Girls Rising Conference to Bring Together International Activists, Policymakers, and Scholars, September 11-12 in NYC

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Participants including Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, Gloria Steinem, Jan Eliasson, and more will assess the progress of women's human rights 20 years after the UN's Beijing conference

Roosevelt Institute
Meeting the challenges women and girls face and enabling them to be full and active participants in our public life will take significantly greater financial investment and political will.

In the decades since the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, ample evidence has shown that improvements in the status of women and girls are important in their own right and also drive the prosperity, stability, and security of families, communities, and nations. Yet around the world, women and girls continue to confront major barriers to their full and equal participation in social, economic, and political life. On September 11-12 in New York City, Roosevelt Institute’s Women and Girls Rising program will confront these disparities with a series of dialogues that help chart a future agenda for realizing the full promise of women’s human rights.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who made women’s human rights a global mantra with her landmark speech in Beijing as U.S. First Lady, will deliver a keynote address. Other participants include such notable figures as U.N. Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, writer and activist Gloria Steinem, and many other prominent policymakers, activists, and scholars in the fields of women’s rights, human rights, and global development policy. Participants hail from more than 25 countries and span generations and disciplines, including economics, education, health, and the environment. The conference will also feature prominent young activists including Kalpona Akter, organizer of women garment workers in Bangladesh; and Shiza Shahid, founder and director of the Malala Fund. Malala Yousafzai herself, defender of girls’ education and human rights from Pakistan, will participate by video from London, where she is currently in school. Click here for a full agenda and list of participants.

The purpose of the convening is to document the modern history and accomplishments of the global women’s movement and the empowering role the United Nations has played in its evolution, while also examining where and why progress has met so much resistance. Secretary Clinton will speak on the second day of the conference.

“Meeting the challenges women and girls face and enabling them to be full and active participants in our public life will take significantly greater financial investment and political will,“ said Ellen Chesler, Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and lead conference organizer. “As we work toward this goal, we can only benefit from having women working on the ground around the world share the lessons they have learned and the strategies they have developed.”

Following the conference, some twenty papers will be published in a book to be edited by Chesler and Columbia University Professor Theresa McGovern, planned for publication in fall 2015, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Beijing conference.

This conference was made possible with major funding from the Ford Foundation, together with smaller grants from the U.N. Foundation, the Jacob Blaustein Institute, and several individual donors.

Women and Girls Rising is a major initiative of the Roosevelt Institute and is directed by Senior Fellow Ellen Chesler. Chesler has thirty years of experience in government, philanthropy, and academia, and is the author of the critically acclaimed "Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America."

The Roosevelt Institute is an ideas and leadership development organization founded in the belief that America should offer opportunity to all. To develop a new social contract for the 21st century, we advance the work of progressive thinkers and support an emerging generation of leaders as they design solutions to the most pressing issues of our time. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were instrumental in the creation of the United Nations and the modern doctrine of human rights, and with this inquiry on women’s rights as fundamental human rights, the Roosevelt Institute begins an effort to promote and carry on their pathbreaking global legacy.

Event Details
Thursday, September 11 (9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Friday, September 12 (9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.)

Ford Foundation
320 E 43rd St
New York, NY 10017

This conference will be livestreamed (link will be provided upon request). To arrange an interview with conference participants or Ellen Chesler, please contact Tim Price.

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Tim Price
Roosevelt Institute
+1 (212) 493-3323
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