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The Economics of Hunger: Women Hold Up More Than Half The Sky

Hong Kong, Hong Kong Island • November 25, 2009

THE ECONOMICS OF HUNGER: WOMEN HOLD UP MORE THAN HALF THE SKY BRETT RIERSON, SENIOR OFFICER, PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS DIVISION UNITED NATIONS WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME (UNWFP) Location: Hong Kong Bankers Cl...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM EST

Hong Kong Bankers Club
43/F Gloucester Tower
The Landmark, Central
Hong Kong, Hong Kong Island
HK

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THE ECONOMICS OF HUNGER: WOMEN HOLD UP MORE THAN HALF THE SKY
BRETT RIERSON, SENIOR OFFICER, PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS DIVISION
UNITED NATIONS WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME (UNWFP)

Location: Hong Kong Bankers Club, 43/F Gloucester Tower, The Landmark, Central
Date: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009
Time: 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Fee: HK$180 includes canapes and two standard drinks
RSVP: 85broadshongkong@gmail.com

The Chinese proverb that ‘women hold up half the sky’ has long been more aspiration than fact. In developed and developing countries alike, gender gaps persist in education, health, work, wages and political participation.

Gender equality can be viewed in many ways: as a development goal in its own right; as a means of achieving other development goals; and as a fundamental human right recognized by international treaty, a source of support for long-term economic growth. Bringing more women into the labor force could provide a substantial boost to GDP growth and per capita income. In countries with younger populations, greater gender equality is associated with the start of the ‘demographic transition,’ which is typically a period of rapid economic growth.

Brett will focus on the UN World Food Programme’s experience, in particular the School Feeding program, which assists over 20 million children to attend schools each year. Girls are a particular focus area: education is a principle driver of gender equality and economic growth. Educating girls and women leads to higher wages; a greater likelihood of working outside the home; lower fertility; reduced maternal and child mortality; and better health and education. The impact is felt not only in women’s lifetimes, but also in the health, education and productivity of future generations. He will also focus attention on a recent report from Goldman Sachs that spells out, in economic terms, just how vital girls and women are in developing countries.

Brett Rierson is a Senior Officer for the World Food Programme’s Private Partnership Division and the Lead for WFP’s Global Finance Initiative. He is responsible for creating partnerships between the WFP and companies, foundations and individuals who share the WFP’s objective of fighting hunger, worldwide. Brett has diverse experience in the private sector, politics, and humanitarian relief. He has worked on infrastructure development for Matra Transport, for the Aga Khan Rural Support Foundation in Pakistan, and several other NGOs in East Africa. He has worked for A.T. Kearney, in his own venture capital funds, and most recently served as Deputy Managing Director of the Clinton Global Initiative in Asia in December 2008. CGI Asia brought together 400 influential Asian business, government, civil society, and philanthropic leaders to develop solutions for the most urgent issues in education, energy and climate change, and global health at local, regional, and international levels. Brett holds an MBA from INSEAD, and two B.A. degrees in Journalism and History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a Trustee of the INSEAD Alumni Fund, Asia-Pacific region.

This event is brought to you by 85 Broads and The Women’s Foundation.

85 Broads

You are invited to join 85 Broads, the most powerful, intellectually savvy network of 19,000 trailblazing women who are inspired, empowered, and connected globally. 85 Broads was launched by Janet Hanson as an independent network for current and former Goldman Sachs women (the name being a humorous play on Goldman’s headquarters, 85 Broad Street, in Manhattan). From 2000, membership has been extended to women at the leading graduate business schools, colleges and universities worldwide. Members of this multi-generational and culturally diverse network work for thousands of companies and live in 72 countries. Visit www.85broads.com for more information.

The Women’s Foundation

The Women’s Foundation is a Hong Kong registered non-profit, dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls through research, programs, and education and raising public awareness. With the overall aim of promoting greater female economic self-reliance in Hong Kong, the Foundation’s three key focus areas are challenging gender stereotypes, increasing the number of women in decision-making positions, and empowering low income women to achieve a better standard of life for themselves and their families. Visit www.thewomensfoundationhk.org for more information and to learn about volunteer and internships opportunities with us.



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