WASHINGTON, D.C. – The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) will tonight honor Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her lifelong dedication to advocating for the rights, protection and prosperity of women and girls everywhere during its 2012 Champions for Change Gala at the Ritz-Carlton.
The greatest challenges we face as a nation, whether building stability and peace around the world or countering violent extremism or promoting democracy and freedom, depend on the full participation of women and girls. That’s why I’ve put women and girls at the center of what we do at the State Department,” said Secretary Clinton, ICRW’s 2012 Champion for Change Leadership honoree in a pre-recorded video speech.
That means enhancing women’s civic and political participation, strengthening the role of women in their economies, bolstering their efforts in peace and security issues. It means taking on discrimination and marginalization and cultural attitudes that treat women and girls as second-class citizens. It also means building the partnerships and supporting the innovations that will help women around the world live up to their own God-given potentials, whether that’s developing new irrigation tools for women farmers in Tanzania or making clean cook stoves available to mothers in Indonesia. Much of that work begins with the research going on every day at ICRW,” she added.
ICRW, the world’s leading research institute on the many challenges faced by women and girls across the globe, presented its 2012 Champion for Change Vision award to the ExxonMobil Foundation for its deep commitment to helping women prosper and drive economic and social change in their communities. The ExxonMobil Foundation was also a key partner in Bridging the Gender Divide, a 2010 ICRW research study. It examined the ways in which technological innovations in fields like energy and agriculture can economically advance women around the world, from Indonesia to Uganda.
Champion for Change Innovator awards went to clean energy social enterprise, Solar Sister, and the Thunderbird Emerging Market Labs of the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Thunderbird collaborated with Solar Sister to help optimize its groundbreaking, market-based initiative in which rural women sell safe, energy-efficient solar lamps to other rural women as a means to boost their income and savings, benefiting families on both sides of the transaction. ICRW researchers have studied the scheme in Uganda and have provided guidance on how to monitor and evaluate its performance.
“It is a great privilege to work with people who devote their skills to ensure that evidence – not intuition, not ideology – informs policy and funding, and provides solutions to problems that others have yet to identify,” said ICRW President Sarah Degnan Kambou. “This evidence has helped innovators from a broad spectrum of backgrounds – development, government, corporate, academic and media – in their own efforts to advocate and work on behalf of – and alongside – the world’s poorest women and girls.”
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