The Center for Gender in Organizations, in partnership with Simmons Institute for Leadership and Change, 85 Broads Boston Chapter and Room to Read, will present a panel discussion entitled "Educate, Empower, Transform: The Role of Girls' Education in the Developing World" on Monday, April 22, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Linda K. Paresky Conference Center at Simmons College. Supporting organizations include 85 Broads Boston Chapter, Samaya Consulting, Light the Dark, Catalina Leadership and Hands of Time.
More than 600 million adolescent girls are living today in developing countries. These girls often face terrific obstacles to getting an education, making it nearly impossible for them to break the cycle of poverty for themselves, for their families and for their communities.
Study after study has affirmed that no tool for development is more effective than the empowerment of girls and women, yet less than two cents of every international development dollar goes to girls.
When we invest in girls, the benefits are many. An extra year of girls' education can reduce infant mortality by 5-10 percent. One extra year of education beyond the average boosts a girl's wages by 10 to 25%. When 10% more girls go to school, a country's GDP increases on average by 3%.
In recent years, a number of projects have been initiated to raise awareness of the transformative effects of educating girls. At the Clinton Global Initiative in 2010, several organizations banded together to launch the 10x10 Initiative, a social action campaign and film dedicated to amplifying the importance of investing in girls. 10x10 will launch a film (Girl Rising) on March 7, 2013. The U.N. launched the "Girl Up" initiative to give American girls the opportunity to channel their energy to raise awareness and funds. The Nike Foundation is focused on supporting the Girl Effect -- leveraging the potential of adolescent girls.
Taken together, these efforts have helped to elevate the discussion about educating girls as a catalyst for peace and economic development.
This panel will discuss various aspects of this issue, examining different approaches and their effectiveness. Most organizations addressing girls' education are generating the best results with collaborative approaches that incorporate material support, emotional support, mentoring, life-skills training and wellness education. Special support is needed to help girls make the transition from primary to secondary school, and then into adulthood to give them a start at healthy, productive lives. The panel will focus on the latest development practices that can help ensure girls' success.
A networking reception will be held from 6-6:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. The panel discussion and Q&A will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Discounted parking is available in the SOM garage. This event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, please visit http://educategirls.eventbrite.com/
Moderator: Patricia Deyton is the Director at the Center for Gender in Organizations, the internationally recognized research arm of the Simmons School of Management. Ms. Deyton is also a Professor of Practice in both the MBA and Undergraduate Programs, teaching courses in Gender and Leadership, Managing Diversity, Organizational Change, Nonprofit Management and Introduction to Management. She has worked extensively in higher education and gender equity with African universities.
Dr. Joyce Fletcher is Chair of the Board of Directors for the Maranyundo Initiative, which operates a boarding school in Rwanda for high-achieving girls. Dr. Fletcher is also a Distinguished Research Scholar at the Center for Gender in Organizations. She is an authority on leadership and the interaction of gender and power in the workplace.
Barbara Heffner has served as a Boston Chapter Co-Leader with Room to Read since 2008. The organization aims to transform the lives of children in the developing world by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Its Girls' Education program has supported more than 19,000 girls in nine countries with improved educational opportunities.
Christina Stellini is Senior Program Officer for the Bantwana Initiative at World Education, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of the poor through education, and economic and social development programs. World Ed has a long history of successfully working with local partners to design, execute, manage and evaluate participatory, community-based initiatives to advance the conditions of girls and women.