While women and girls are increasingly able to realize their rights and contribute to society, they continue to face enormous challenges and disadvantages across Asia. Today data shows that no country can get ahead if it leaves women and girls behind.
In the words of former World Bank President Robert Zoellick: “Gender equality is smart economics.” Beyond smart economics, progress on the new Sustainable Development Goals – at the heart of the UN Commission on the Status of Women held last month – will not be possible without gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
Last week I had the pleasure of participating in the fourth annual Young Lotus Circle Soirée at the Sun Klein Gallery in New York City, hosted by The Asia Foundation’s Lotus Circle, a community of individuals, foundations, and corporations who raise private capital to rapidly respond to threats and challenges facing women in Asia.
For example, in India, where domestic violence has become a source of national outrage, Lotus Circle funds were used to support SafetiPin, a mobile app which allows users to conduct “safety audits” in their cities and shine a virtual spotlight on unsafe areas for women. In Bangladesh, Lotus Circle funds are supporting women entrepreneurs to establish and grow their businesses by developing e-commerce websites that increase their access to information, innovative technologies, and external markets. And in Vietnam, Lotus Circle funding has allowed more than 200 girls in the Mekong Delta region to overcome substantial barriers to continuing their education. Article Source....