Gender Equality: Clinton Global Initiative
"No country can prosper if it leaves half its people behind."
~ Melanne Verveer, US State Department
Gender Equality is being emphasized as the societal ramifications of this agenda were discussed at the CGI Wednesday:
NEW YORK — The importance of gender equality took center stage Wednesday at the Clinton Global Initiative as speakers emphasized how investing in girls and women can have repercussions at all levels of a society.
"No country can prosper if it leaves half its people behind," said Melanne Verveer, the State Department's ambassador-at-large for global women's issues.
Diane Sawyer, the new ABC evening news anchor who moderated the panel, asked what impact empowering and educating women could have on extremism.
"The most dangerous places in the world, frankly, are those places where women are put down in the greatest way. It's where societies implode and where states fail," Verveer replied.
Verveer was joined on the panel by Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs; Zainab Salbi, CEO of Women for Women International; Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil; Robert Zoellick, head of the World Bank; and Edna Adan Ismail, a former Somaliland foreign minister.
The Clinton Global Initiative, started by former President Bill Clinton, brings together the public and private sector to discuss solutions to problems in four areas — climate change, poverty, global health and education.
Clinton opened the morning session by highlighting a number of commitments that had been made in the area of empowering women, and emphasized the importance of the issue.
"Whether the issue is improving the involvement of young women and girls in education, to climate change and all political, economic, and social issues in between, I think empowering women is central to what the world has to do in the 21st century," he said.
Former Vice President Al Gore was scheduled to speak on a panel Wednesday afternoon about the need for innovation to create sustainable development.
The conference started Tuesday, with President Barack Obama among the speakers.
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