“Study after study has taught us that there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women. No other policy is as likely to raise economic productivity, or to reduce infant and maternal mortality. No other policy is as sure to improve nutrition and promote health—including the prevention of HIV/AIDS. No other policy is as powerful in increasing the chances of education for the next generation. And I would also venture that no policy is more important in preventing conflict, or in achieving reconciliation after a conflict has ended. But whatever the very real benefits of investing in women, the most important fact remains: Women themselves have the right to live in dignity, in freedom from want and from fear.”
—UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Indeed, we are living in exciting times. On one hand, several global high-level development agenda discussion areas such as Beijing +20, Post-2015 frameworks, Financing for Development, Sustainable Development Goal, Global Strategy for Women, Newborn, Children and Adolescent Health and Global Financing Facility, just to mention a few, are taking place. The year 2015, presents a historical opportunity that will hopefully reshape the global understanding that there can be no development without the realization of human rights.
On the other hand, the results are in and we know that numbers don’t lie. Numerous studies show that empowering women and girls is the single most effective measure to raise overall economic productivity, lower infant and maternal mortality, educate the next generation, improve nutrition, and promote health. Other studies state that girls with educations marry later, are less likely to experience sexual violence, and are more likely to be able to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Ultimately, empowering women and girls is vital to economic growth, ending poverty, and boosting shared prosperity, good governance, sustained peace, and harmonious dynamics between the environment and human populations.
Well, I am the woman – a daughter, mother, wife, patriot, policy-analyst, sister, thinker, worker, friend – and my personal has always been political. Join me in my blog as we explore the paradigm shift that is needed to face this world’s changing demands so as to make a difference now and for the future generation of girls and women.