What a year! ICRW celebrates our favorite moments from 2016
In 2016, ICRW celebrated 40 years of putting rigorous research into action to transform the lives of women and girls around the world. Throughout our 40th anniversary year, we’ve put our research and advocacy to work to advance gender equality. It’s been a milestone year and we thank all of our supporters for helping make possible numerous advancements for women and girls. Before we ring in the New Year, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate our successes by looking back at our top ten achievements from 2016, as chosen by ICRW staff.
Forty years ago, ICRW was founded on the belief that research and data are vital to transform the lives of women and girls living in poor and marginalized communities. Now, 40 years later, we don’t just believe it, we know it. For four decades, ICRW has identified solutions to meet challenges facing women and girls by producing research that untangles complex problems and discovers the pathways to positive change.
In September 2016, ICRW and the U.S. domestic research organization Re:Gender (formerly the National Council for Research on Women) merged. The organizations’ common mission of achieving gender equality will henceforth be pursued under the banner of the International Center for Research on Women. With this merger, ICRW now has a global platform to put our research to use not just in the developing world but in the U.S. as well, enabling us to pursue a truly global research and advocacy agenda where we seek to understand and overcome the shared challenges that women and girls face in every corner of the world.
ICRW continued to make an impact through its programming for adolescent girls this year. Our groundbreaking Parivartan for Girls program ended with a public tournament showcasing the Indian contact sport kabbadi, where girls in one Mumbai slum were finally able to boldly claim and assert their right to public space. ICRW’s Planning Ahead for Girls’ Empowerment and Employability (PAGE) program, which helps provide girls with the confidence and skills to enter the work force, continued in public schools throughout New Delhi. To see the impact of the program on girls and mentors, watch this powerful video from 692 Productions.
ICRW’s annual Champions for Change Awards celebrate the possibilities of a gender equitable world by honoring the leaders who are helping to make that world a reality. This year, ICRW conferred Champions for Change Awards upon the following honorees:
In 2016, ICRW revamped our look with a new logo that captures meaningful colors from our regional hubs around the world. We also launched a brand new website to better showcase our research and expertise, while simultaneously re-capturing what makes ICRW unique and drives our staff every day through our new tagline: Passion. Proof. Power.
Following last year’s success in helping to ensure that girls’ unique needs and priorities were represented across the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals, ICRW took its evidence-based advocacy to Washington, D.C. In March 2016, the U.S. government launched the United States Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls, the world’s first piece of foreign policy solely dedicated to the rights and empowerment of girls. ICRW co-led a coalition of groups advocating for the Strategy, which incorporates many of ICRW’s recommendations and cites ICRW’s research on child marriage, girls’ education and more.
In September 2016, Suzanne Petroni, ICRW senior director of global health, youth and development, testified at a U.S. Senate hearing called by Senator Marco Rubio on global efforts to end child marriage alongside Lakshmi Sundaram, executive director of Girls Not Brides. Petroni spoke to ICRW’s efforts to expand the evidence base on programs and policies that can end child marriage.
This summer, ICRW staff, their families and friends were proud to march in the annual Capital Pride Parade. The parade, held in Washington, D.C., is an all-day event celebrating the full spectrum of gender identity and sexual orientation. ICRW’s participation in the parade is our way of celebrating diversity and supporting continued progress toward equality for all.
ICRW has been at the forefront of global research and advocacy efforts around child marriage for nearly fifteen years. Our research has not only explored the impacts of child marriage, but also the root causes of and best practices to prevent it. In our report, “She Cannot Just Sit Around Waiting to Turn Twenty”, ICRW helps fill the evidence gap on why child marriage persists in Zambia and Kenya.
This year, ICRW created the Paula Kantor Award for Excellence in Field Research in memory of our colleague Paula Kantor, who died in the aftermath of a terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan in May 2015. Paula was driven by her commitment to improve lives, particularly those of women and girls. Through the Paula Kantor Award, ICRW seeks to inspire the next generation of researchers in Paula’s name. The inaugural award was conferred upon Soumya Gupta in New Delhi at a celebration marking the beginning of our 40th anniversary year. The award was conferred for a second time to Eunice Muthengi at the official launch of the Africa Regional Office in Kampala, Uganda, at the close of our 40th year.
We could not have achieved these top ten moments without the support of people like you. Please consider making a contribution to ICRW to help support our work in 2017.
By Saira Habib, ICRW Fellow, Professional Fellows for Govern