Two facts about women:1. Although females represent half of the world’s people, women and girls make up 70 percent of the world’s poor and two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population.2. Women produce much of the world’s crops and in many places work tirelessly in non-wage earning jobs without the possibility of owning land or assets. The majority of women earn, on average, about three-fourths of the pay that men receive for doing the same work, outside of the agricultural sector, in both developed and developing countries.Studies have indicated that when women hold assets or gain income, the money is more likely to be spent on nutrition, medicine, and housing, and consequently their children are healthier. For every dollar a woman earns, she invests 80 cents in her family. More facts here.Two Breakout sessions: 

1. Role of Religious Leaders in Accelerating the Achievement for Women and Girls.  (One female & three male prominent religious leaders: Muslim, Protestant, Jew, and Catholic)Statements made:Religion should empower women in society.Religion should give back freedom to the people (including women). No one is superior except my Creator. (In reference to child brides, women driving, etc.)  (Said by the Muslim IMAN)Religion should give equality. In the beginning (references the Garden story) there was equality, but no longer.Religion without human rights is a dead religion.Female genital mutilation is not a religious practice but a cultural one that needs correcting.Patriarchy promotes poverty.We have understood religious text only from a male dominant society and that has led to the preference of men.Women you need to become scholars! Without the woman’s perspective it will remain male dominant. (Said by the male panelist!) 2. Engaging Men and Boys in the Gender Issueengaging-men-poster-225x300Gender relationships need improvement.We can’t have significant benefits for women & children unless men are on board.We don’t want to take away a boy’s masculinity but rather redefine the meaning of masculinity.Redefining Masculinity.We work to eradicate gender-based violence.Men and boys are instruments for change.Check out their website here.