Stepping up for girls & women at the 2016 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

On Tuesday in New York City, Global Fund for Women’s President and CEO Musimbi Kanyoro, represented Global Fund for Women at the 12th and final Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting. We were thrilled to join No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, Vital Voices Global Partnership, WEConnect International, and a coalition of over 30 core partners from the public, private, and multilateral sectors to announce a new series of commitments that aim to address significant gender gaps and advance the gender equality targets of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

“Achieving gender equality doesn’t only change the lives and opportunities for girls and women, it changes the world,” said Chelsea Clinton, who announced the group of commitments on-stage during a plenary session titled, “Girl, Uninterrupted: Increasing Opportunity During Adolescence,” which also featured a rivoting performance from Afghan rapper and child marriage activist Sonita Alizadeh, and a powerful conversation on the promise of girls and young women with Chelsea Clinton, Sonita, and Memory Banda, the 19-year-old child marriage activist who works with longtime Global Fund for Women grantee partner Girls’ Empowerment Network—Malawi.

“It’s truly exciting to be part of this coalition among a set of partners who represent a truly diverse network of sectors and actors who are all working toward our joint goal of advancing gender equality,” says Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO of Global Fund for Women, who joined Chelsea Clinton and representatives from other partners on-stage for the official announcement. “We believe in the power of partnerships and coalitions like this to invest in and empower more grassroots women’s groups and movements around the world, in order to ensure every woman and girl is strong, safe, powerful, and heard.”

Global Fund for Women’s commitment to raise $3 million a year for two years aims to raise the visibility of women-led organizations removing barriers to gender equality globally. In addition, we’re thrilled to be working with leading home-sharing site Airbnb on its commitment to provide travel and free Airbnb accommodations to 160 women who are small business owners and activists through Global Fund for Women’s network, and the Vital Voices Global Partnership.

Over the next five years, the coalition’s collective CGI Commitments to Action will directly impact more than 900,000 individuals in over 60 countries worldwide to advance women’s economic participation, address violence against girls and women, and promote women’s leadership in both the public and private sectors.

With the recent adoption of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global community has marked the beginning of a new era of international development. Gender is a central feature of the SDG agenda—both as a standalone goal (SDG 5), as well as being integrated throughout the other 16 goals.

Through these commitments, Global Fund for Women and other coalition partners are charting a path forward to achieve significant progress in the lives of girls and women, complementing the work of the United Nations and country governments. As Chelsea Clinton pointed out in her announcement, these commitments build off of critical data aggregated in the “No Ceilings Full Participation Report,” which presents the gains and gaps that girls and women have made since 1995. While significant progress has been made, there is still work to be done.