How the Clinton Global Initiative Is Empowering Girls and Women

By editorial assistant Lauren Castner

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) was started in 2005 by former President Bill Clinton.  Each year there is a meeting to determine the initiatives and commitments to action CGI members will undertake for the coming year.  Since 2005, thanks to the commitments of various businesses, nonprofit organizations, and heads of state, more than 200 million lives have been touched in 170 countries.

CGI is currently meeting in New York City and their 6th annual meeting wraps up today.  One of the areas of focus for CGI is Empowering Girls and Women.  On Tuesday, a new commitment was announced by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton: the Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.  The aim of this initiative is to cut down the toxic emissions from many of the stoves that women and girls use to cook meals for their families.  The goal by 2020 is to put cleaner stovetops in 100 million homes by 2020.

The Clinton Global Initiative premiered a new video for GirlEffect on Tuesday.  GirlEffect is an organization that is creating change by educating more and more 12-year-old girls who are living at or below the poverty line.  By doing so, GirlEffect hopes to stop the cycle of early pregnancy and marriage, continued impoverishment, and HIV/AIDS contraction for subsequent generations of 12-year-old girls.

Tuesday also featured a panel moderated by Katie Couric composed of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the president of Liberia, Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca-Cola, and Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Queen of Jordan.  The panel focused on initiatives that would provide economic opportunities for women and educational opportunities that have arisen in Jordan where more women attend university than men now.

To get involved or learn more about GirlEffect or CGI, check out girleffect.org or MyCommitment.org.

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