(Photo: Amref Health Africa)
September 21, 2017 – The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $20 million commitment to support local grassroots women’s movements in Africa and beyond at their Goalkeepers 2017 event this week in New York City. Part of this commitment will support a new partnership between Amref Health Africa and Advocacy Accelerator, in a new initiative to build capacity of youth in Kenya advocating for gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Details on the initiative and official announcement to follow.
Every year in September, the United Nations General Assembly convenes in New York City. For one week, the city hosts dozens of events that run alongside the official sessions, where international development organizations like Amref Health Africa collaborate, announce new innovations, and re-commit to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers 2017 was one such event.
Goalkeepers 2017 brought together renowned leaders including President Barack Obama and Prime Minster Justin Trudeau sharing their ideas and experiences in working towards the SDGs. During the session titled Still I Rise: The Power of Women’s Movements, Malala Yousafzai – famed female education activist and Nobel Prize Laureate – and other gender equality champions highlighted the importance of local grassroots women’s movements in developing countries as crucial to achieving the SDGs.
Melinda Gates introduced Still I Rise – which was built up throughout the week using the social media hashtag #HowEqualityHappens – aptly summarizing why women’s movements need to be supported, “Gender equality is a prerequisite for progress on every other issue. None of us can move forward if half of us are held back.”
When Malala took the stage, she powerfully stated, “If one girl with an education can change the world, imagine what 130 million can do."