7 Billion People: Time to Unleash the Power of Women and Girls

By Christine Cupaiuolo — September 13, 2011

As everyone from authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn to Nike has been saying, when girls and women are valued in society, society as a whole is healthier, better educated, and better off economically.

Today, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), along with National Geographic, the U.S. State Department, the International Women’s Health Coalition, Global Leaders for Reproductive Health, and other organizations, are highlighting the need to support women and girls to accelerate progress for everyone. And they’re doing it in the context of the world population:

In late October 2011, world population will reach 7 billion people. It is critical that we unleash the power of women and girls to alleviate poverty and accelerate progress on all of our global development goals.

When women are healthy and educated and can participate fully in society, they trigger progress for themselves as well as for their families, communities and countries. Help us raise the profile of women and girls, unleashing their potential and empowering them to be engines of change.

The event will take place today from 3 to 5 p.m. at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. It will be live-streamed and posted afterwards at 7billionactions.org, which was established by the United Nations Population Fund to highlight actions by individuals and organizations making a global commitment for a healthy and sustainable world.


You can also follow on Twitter (@7BillionActions) and discuss the event using the hashtag #7billion, and share your story on the 7 Billion Actions Facebook wall.

Speakers include:

Lois Quam, Executive Director, Global Health Initiative, U.S. Department of State

Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development

Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund

A panel of youth advocates, including: Phil Hay (moderator), Human Development Network, World Bank; Monique Coleman, Actress, High School Musical, and United Nations Youth Champion; Ronan Farrow, Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for Global Youth Issues, U.S. Department of State; Alexandra Garita, Program Officer, International Policy, International Women’s Health Coalition; Natalie Imbruglia, Singer, Actress and Ambassador, Virgin Unite; Kakenya Ntaiya, President and Founder, The Kakenya Center for Excellence.

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