Thank you for being here today for our conversation on holding governments and institutions accountable for gender equality, particularly since we are joined by two leaders who are making history in Africa. It is a tremendous honor that Africa’s only female presidents are with us—President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and President Joyce Banda of Malawi.
Please join me in a round of applause for these exceptional leaders.
Now, the Millennium Challenge Corporation has partnered with both Liberia and Malawi to create new opportunities for growth. I admire the drive of both presidents to transform the lives of their citizens by investing in sustainable development, grounded in sound economic and democratic governance.
And these leaders know that strong democracies, strong economies and strong civil societies depend on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
At MCC, we know that we have to do much more than just say we believe in these principles. Rather, we require that our partner countries actually put these principles into practice.
That is why MCC is developing and refining innovative tools to promote gender equality, social inclusion and empowerment.
For example, we released our Gender Integration Guidelines, outlining 27 specific gender integration milestones and operational procedures. We require that our partners develop a Social and Gender Integration Plan. Malawi’s compact, for instance, includes 2 million dollars for gender integration and social inclusion.And, we invest in greater accountability by improving the mechanisms for gender to be part of our economic analysis as well as monitoring and evaluation efforts.
The bottom line for MCC is clear: We need more than a groundbreaking Gender Policy. What is also required is making this policy operational and measurable.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Gender inequality can be a significant constraint to economic growth and poverty reduction. Yet, we have the power to change that. Let us work together now in a true spirit of partnership and purpose to unleash that power.
Thank you very much, and let me turn the program over to Kathy Calvin who is the Chief Executive Officer of the UN Foundation. Among other initiatives, the UN Foundation focuses on empowering women and girls. The floor is yours, Kathy…