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Panelists Discuss Need for Girls’ Education

May 29, 2013

Simmons recently hosted a panel presentation highlighting the need for girls’ education in the developing world. The event - Educate, Empower, Transform: The Role of Girls' Education in the Developing World – included Simmons Professor of Practice Patricia Deyton as moderator.

Other panelists were Dr. Joyce Fletcher of the Maranyundo Initiative, which operates a boarding school in Rwanda for high-achieving girls; Barbara Heffner of Room to Read, an organization that supports girls in nine countries with improved educational opportunities; Christina Stellini of the Bantwana Initiative at World Education, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of the poor through education and economic and social development programs; and Annette Champney of Pathfinder International, an organization that focuses on reproductive health and the empowerment of women and girls.

During the discussion, which was co-hosted by the Simmons Center for Gender in Organizations and the Simmons Institute for Leadership and Change, participants talked about the importance of educating girls, a message that clearly aligns with the mission of Simmons.

Deyton began the discussion by providing statistics on women worldwide. Deyton said that women do 67 percent of the world’s work, but earn only 10 percent of the world's income. Panelists spoke about the difficulty that families in poverty have, and how girls in these families are seen as a liability and a risk. The group talked about the critical need for local, regional, and international organizations and governments to work together to advocate for policy changes. All of the panelists agreed that education for girls is a basic human right, and the key to economic stability and peace.

Pictured Above (from left to right): Dr. Joyce Fletcher, Annette Champney, Barbara Heffner, Christina Stellini, and Patricia Deyton.

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