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Girls' and women's rights: progress under threat in a fragile world?

Time (GMT +01) 09:30 12:30


​Introductory remarks

Kevin Watkins - Executive Director, ODI


Kate Allen - Director, Amnesty International UK

Keynote Speaker

Dr Shirin Ebadi - 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Winner


Nicola Jones - Research Fellow, Social Development, ODI

Bisi Olateru-Olagbegi- Executive Director, Women's Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON)

Lakshmi Puri - Deputy Executive Director, UN Women




Despite significant progress in recent years, the world is an increasingly dangerous and unjust place for many girls and women.  The rise of extremist groups across the Middle East and Africa has been accompanied by a steep increase in rights violation. A new Islamic State “manifesto” declares that girls can be married from the age of nine and that women should remain “hidden”. Meanwhile, for millions of girls in developing countries, early marriage is the norm and sexual violence and female genital mutation are commonplace.


To what extent is the hard-won progress in women's and girls’ rights under threat?  What can be done to support them in dangerous and difficult situations?  How can we break down the cultural norms which hold back so many talented and promising girls? 



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