The William J. Clinton Foundation recently announced that the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative, being held September 20-23 in New York City, will focus on four new action areas — strengthening market-based solutions, harnessing human potential, enhancing access to modern technology, and empowering girls and women.
I was particularly excited to see that last topic listed as a core part of the program. It brought to mind the first time I saw a video titled The Girl Effect, which I found really moving. I'd like to share it here:
This video talks about the value of providing opportunities for women and girls to make simple but meaningful changes that can impact their own lives, as well as their communities. The Girl Effect video and web site were created by the Nike Foundation, with support from other funders and organizations, to bring attention to the plight of girls around the world and to encourage everyone to get involved in making change possible for this often overlooked group.
That's not to say that no one has been addressing these issues. In fact, there are grantmaking organizations focused specifically on women and girls all around the world -- more than 162 of them across six continents, according to the Women's Funding Network. A great example is the Washington Area Women's Foundation, which funds nonprofits working to improve the lives of women and girls right here in DC. The Foundation Center partnered with the Women's Funding Network to publish a report looking at the impact of these funds. You can order a copy of the full report or download the highlights online.
The challenges facing women and girls, especially in developing countries, are so pervasive, so significant, that we need to shine a light on them whenever possible. Bill Clinton said he started the Clinton Global Initiative "to help turn good intentions into real action and results." I'll be interested to see the outcome of the sessions on women's empowerment at CGI next month.
Do you know an organization making a difference for women and girls -- either locally or around the world? Tell us about them!
-- Katrina Brown, Reference Librarian, Foundation Center-Washington, DC