ICRW Celebrates 35 Years

Article Date

02 February 2011

Article Author

Gillian Gaynair

Media Contact

Anne McPherson

Vice President, Global Communications email [email protected]

International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) will celebrate its 35th anniversary.The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) will celebrate its 35th anniversary with a year-long discussion series at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“Passports to Progress” kicks off on March 8, International Women’s Day, and aims to advance global dialogue on how to empower the world’s women. The first gathering will focus on breakthrough innovations that have the potential to change the lives of women and girls in developing countries. Speakers include Cherie Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Tim Hanstad, president and CEO of Landesa and Bobbi Silten, chief foundation officer for Gap Inc. The conversation will be moderated by NBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell.

“Our March 8 event brings together smart, entrepreneurial thinkers who are tackling critical issues facing poor women and their communities in truly innovative ways,” ICRW President Sarah Degnan Kambou said.

Subsequent gatherings will address investments in ending violence against women, how to advance women’s economic potential and how to measure global progress on gender equality.

The planned topics each represent an emerging or long-standing issue that will be pivotal in development work around women and gender. “In today’s rapidly changing world, it’s more important than ever to take stock of what we’re learning and apply that knowledge to our work moving forward,” Kambou explained. “We intend for this series to be a launching pad of new ideas to address the challenges and opportunities in global development in the coming years.”

The discussion topics for Passports to Progress also represent key areas of research and strategic advice for ICRW throughout its 35 years.

The organization was founded in 1976 as a program of the Federation of Organizations for Professional Women in response to concerns voiced at the first International Women’s Conference in Mexico. During the conference, participants suggested that development efforts were benefiting women and men unequally – to the detriment of entire societies. At the time, women’s roles, contributions and constraints were invisible to those who determined how countries spent funds to combat poverty, hunger and poor health. ICRW was established to make the invisible visible.

“What makes ICRW unique is that we identify and understand the often unseen, complex intersections in women’s lives that affect progress on achieving gender equality and alleviating poverty,” said Kambou, who was appointed president in 2010. “Our empirical evidence demonstrates to policy makers and program designers how to navigate those intersections.”

Gillian Gaynair is ICRW’s writer and editor.