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CGI partners announce new commitments to empower girls and women

afrol News, 24 September - Millions of girls and women will have access to improved health care, better education, and increased economic opportunity, thanks to the new commitments made at the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which brings together leaders from across sectors of society to identify solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems.

"Women perform 66 percent of the world's work, and produce 50 percent of the food, yet earn only 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property," said former president Bill Clinton said. "Whether the issue is improving education in the developing world, or fighting global climate change, or addressing nearly any other challenge we face, empowering women is a critical part of the equation," he added.

Reports show that when women and girls are empowered, entire regions see measurable results. This is especially true for economic empowerment - for example, a woman is likely to reinvest about 90 percent of her earnings into her family's well-being, compared with 35 percent for a man. Increases in access to education among girls accounted for a decline of 43 percent in the malnutrition rates between 1970 and 1995. Investing in women's health, especially reproductive health, not only saves the lives of half a million mothers, but also unleashes an estimated $15 billion in productivity each year.

Even in the developed world, decreases in inequality can improve overall productivity. Goldman Sachs has reported that different countries and regions of the world could dramatically increase GDP simply by reducing the gap in employment rates between men and women: the Eurozone could increase GDP by 13 percent; Japan by 16 percent; the U.S. by 9 percent.

This year, the CGI Annual Meeting will feature a variety of special programming related to girls and women.

During the session, corporations, foundations, and NGOs announced more than a dozen new commitments that will improve the lives of girls and women around the world.

Commitments announced include work to prevent cervical cancer, girls' education, health and hygiene education, through sustainable, locally-led businesses, for one million girls and women in Africa by 2012, training girls from Ghana in media production and journalism skills, as a way of empowering the girls to advocate against gender discrimination through diverse media and other empowering projects in countries such as Rwanda.

The Fifth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative ends tomorrow.

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) brings together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 100 current and former heads of state, 10 of the last 16 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organisations, and prominent members of the media. The CGI members have made more than 1,400 commitments valued at $46 billion, to improve the lives of more than 200 million people in more than 170 countries.


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