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International summit deliberates effective strategies to advance gender equality

June 11, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC — Advancing gender equality in international development will be the focus of this year’s Gender 360 Summit in Washington, DC, on June 11, 2015. Hosted by FHI 360, a global human development organization, this annual gathering will highlight trends, progress and challenges that inform the gender landscape.

As the United Nations prepares to release the Sustainable Development Goals later this year, finding innovative approaches to achieve gender equality, social inclusion and human rights is more critical than ever.

The Gender 360 Summit will convene more than 250 international development practitioners, gender experts, donors and policymakers from nearly 100 nonprofit and for-profit organizations, bilateral donors, corporate foundations and research institutions. Among other topics, participants will explore effective approaches and lessons learned in addressing gender inequality, discuss the importance of harmonizing male engagement and female empowerment strategies, and examine the role of donors in advancing the gender equality agenda.

“We have come a long way in our collective understanding of the role gender plays in development,” said Patrick Fine, Chief Executive Officer, FHI 360. “Promoting female empowerment, male engagement and more equitable gender norms is front and center on the development agenda. Integrating this critical issue into every aspect of our work is the right thing to do because we know it enables women, men, girls and boys to improve their lives, communities and nations. That is why this forum’s discussions will be rich and meaningful and we hope will offer new solutions to persistent problems.”

The keynote address will be delivered by Catherine M. Russell, Ambassador-At-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State. Other speakers include Susan Markham, Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment, U.S. Agency for International Development; Sally Gear, Head, Sustainable Energy Unit, U.K. Department for International Development; Theo Sowa, Chief Executive Officer, African Women’s Development Fund; Dr. Andrew Morrison, Chief of Gender & Diversity Division, Inter-American Development Bank; Joan Libby-Hawk, Special Advisor for Women’s Empowerment Principles, UN Women & UN Global Compact; Ritu Sharma, President, Sharma Solutions and Founder, Women Thrive Worldwide; Fikiri Nzoyisenga, Mandela Washington Fellow for Young African Leaders and Founder, Youth Coalition Against Gender-Based Violence in Burundi; and Dr. Andrea Bertone, Director, Gender Department, FHI 360.

“Over the past several years, we have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t in gender programming,” said Andrea Bertone, Director, Gender Department, FHI 360. “Now is the time to move deeper into incorporating gender equality into the DNA of our organizations and the donor base, and it is critical to encourage and support our partners in the field to do the same.”

FHI 360 strives to integrate gender into every aspect of its work and implements projects centered on girls’ education, mitigation of gender-based violence, female leadership and economic empowerment, and family planning and women’s reproductive health.