Press Release

MCC and White House Council on Women and Girls Co-Host Discussion on Gender and International Development

For Immediate Release

September 27, 2010

New York City, NY—Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Chief Executive Officer Daniel W. Yohannes hosted a roundtable discussion on Tuesday, September 21 on gender and development with senior leadership from civil society, government ministries, and bilateral organizations.

Co-hosted by the White House Council on Women and Girls, the event featured a panel of distinguished guests, including White House Council Executive Director Christina Tchen, First Lady Mathato Mosisili of Lesotho, First Lady of Callista Mutharika of Malawi, State Department Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer, and Missouri Congressman Russ Carnahan.  The roundtable was held at the Millennium Plaza Hotel in New York City as a supplementary meeting to the United Nations General Assembly.

The panel discussed ideas for moving beyond generic descriptions of gender inequalities to actively taking steps to ensure that gender equality outcomes are achieved. The event highlighted the need for increased cooperation in achieving gender equality goals through partnerships between civil society organizations, private firms, and government entities.

“Empowering women and girls in developing countries is key to poverty reduction, and is a top agency priority for MCC,” said MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes.  "This leadership roundtable was an important step in determining unifying objectives and opportunities for collaboration as MCC works to fulfill its mission of reducing global poverty through economic growth.”

MCC recognizes that gender inequality is a significant constraint to economic growth and poverty reduction.  Consequently, MCC has committed itself to ensuring that obstacles to gender equality are considered in all stages of its work with partner countries. A successful strategy for global economic prosperity must include economic opportunities for both women and men.

From the selection of eligible countries and the development of compact programs to the assessment and implementation of projects, gender equity plays an important role in MCC activities. Program results are carefully monitored for gender inequalities, and gender is a vital component of program impact evaluations.

MCC’s groundbreaking Gender Policy, which lays out MCC’s commitment to this important aspect of its work to reduce poverty through growth, is available here. A blog post from MCC Senior Advisor Cassandra Butts and photos of the event are available here.

Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. Government agency designed to work with developing countries, is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces sound political, economic, and social policies that promote poverty reduction through economic growth.  For more information, please visit
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