by Lola Adedokun, Program Director for Child Well-Being and Director for the African Health Initiative, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
This blog was adapted from Lola Adedokun’s opening remarks at the 2019 Aspen Ideas session “Why Women Now.”
To the Aspen Institute Forum on Women and Girls Community,
My name is Lola Adedokun and I am the Program Director for Child Well-Being and Director for the African Health Initiative at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The Doris Duke Foundation is proud to support the Aspen Institute Forum on Women and Girls Leadership Series. It is especially important for us to support this initiative now because of the changes we see around us.
Women are shifting the power dynamic and offering up solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. We see it in the evolution and momentum of the #MeToo movement. We see it in the groundswell of women elected officials in the Midterm elections. We see it in the increase in women-propelled efforts in a record number of states to increase access to paid leave. We see it in the global recognition of the need to expand education opportunities for girls. And, we see it in the global effort to reduce violence against women.
Women-led changes in policy, action, culture, and behaviors are emerging in every sector of society and in every country of the world. As the world and the U.S. faces challenges about economic opportunity, equity, and social justices, now is the time to have a critical discussion on women’s rights, equality, and the power dynamics of gender. The strong voices of exceptional women leaders to guide us and to push for solutions that address decades-long practices of discrimination and oppression is needed more than ever.
That is why the Doris Duke Foundation is proud to support the Aspen Institute Forum on Women and Girls in its efforts to use the powerful platform of the Aspen Institute to bring together women leaders to engage in timely discussions that can shape solutions of the future. Together we will be launching the Aspen Institute Forum on Women and Girls Leadership Series this year to bring forward exceptional women leaders and powerful new solutions. The Leadership Series will consist of four action-oriented events per year that will bring together women journalists, policymakers, activists, and others who will inspire and lead audience members to solutions in their own spheres of influences. Turning new ideas into action and solutions will be critical as we go forward.
The coming year of 2020 will be a powerful inflection point for women and our fight for equality in society. It will be the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China that set out bold action plan to remove the systemic barriers that hold women back from equal participation in all areas of life, whether in public or in private. It will also be the 100th anniversary of women’s gaining the right to vote in the United States.
We thank you for your support and hope you will continue to follow our important conversations with the Aspen Institute Forum on Women and Girls Leadership Series so we may learn and grow together to make the world a more secure place for women and girls.
Program Director for Child Well-Being and Director for the African Health Initiative
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
You can view the full program here.