As I plow through the last day of the Social Good Summit, it is only girl power that is keeping me sustained right now. I’m serious.
Yesterday it was all about women and girls.
Madam Tobeka Zuma, Founder and Patron of the Tobeka Madiba Zuma Foundation and Dr. Ida Odinga, Managing Director of East Africa Spectre set off the fun discussion,”First Ladies, First Tweets.” One of the strongest quotes from the chat? “It is not fair for a woman to die when giving life to another human being.”
Later on, Archbishop Desmond Tutu was engaged in a conversation around the transformative power of human connections online and off. He advised; “Let girls be girls and not brides.” Child marriage affects an estimated 10 million girls each year,
the donors said. About $1.5-million has been raised so far for the effort. The Elders, a group of world leaders dedicated to improving human rights, is spearheading the new partnership. And yes folks, he is on Twitter (@theelders).
Girl power wasn’t just uptown at the 92ndY. It seemed like feminine energy was all in the air yesterday:
- Merck, the pharmaceutical giant, announced at the Clinton Global Initiative a $500-million commitment over the next decade to cut by 75 percent the number of women who die in pregnancy and childbirth. Details of the plan are forthcoming, but the company says it will work with Save the Children, among other groups.
- Donors including the Ford, Nike, NoVo, and William and Flora Hewlett foundations announced a new partnership to reduce the number of girls who are forced into marriages before the age of 18.
- The nonprofit group PATH announced a $25-million grant to improve women and children’s health in Mozambique and South Africa. The money comes from BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities, the nonprofit arm of BHP Billiton, an Australian mining and gas company.
- The Exxon Mobil Foundation is giving $1.5-million to the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women to study how mobile-phone technology can help women entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses.
- Melinda Gates, head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, official joined Twitter yesterday as @melindagates. Her goal? “I’ll be using Twitter to pass along stories that inspire me.”
As I sit in the Digital Media Lounge and watch the final event of the day, the Startups for Good Challenge, I can’t lie, I am rooting for my sisters who will present. I’m proud to be a girl.
For more on what happened on Day Three, go here.