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Development Efforts Should Focus On Women, Girls

The following opinion pieces discuss focusing development efforts around women and adolescent girls.

Huffington Post: Putting Women and Girls at the Center of Development
Gary Darmstadt, senior fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…In this week’s issue of the prestigious magazine Science, Melinda Gates weaves together her personal experience and journey of learning that has resulted in her call for our foundation to address gender issues more intentionally in our work. … Many of our program teams have been working intentionally to address gender issues, but we recognize that we can do more. We will be making additional investments in the near future, for example in a new Grand Challenge that will be launched in early October. It’s an exciting evolution in our organization. Most importantly, it’s a change that will position us to more effectively engage with partner organizations working to enable women and girls around the globe to improve their well-being and that of their families, societies, and our world” (9/12).

Inter Press Service: Investing in Adolescent Girls for Africa’s Development
Hinda Deby Itno, first lady of the Republic of Chad and president of the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS, and Julirra Onabanjo, UNFPA’s regional director for East and Southern Africa

“…Today’s adolescents, connected to each other like never before, can be a significant source of social progress and cultural change. But they are also facing multiple challenges that seriously impact their future. And nowhere in the world do adolescents confront as formidable barriers to their full development as in Africa. … International institutions need to increase their commitments to adolescents, and address the nagging problems that confront adolescent girls and women across the African continent. Adolescents have the potential to shape their world and indeed, the world in its entirety. It is in our interest to connect with them and enable them to change our world…” (9/15).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.