Advisory Board Member at U.N. Sponsored Event

Gender Equity Summit Held in New York 

Earlier this month, our Advisory Board member Akif Irfan was in attendance at a United Nations event exploring the issue of gender equity amongst young people in developing countries.

Akif reports that a diverse group focused on gender equality was in attendance. These included individuals from UN-Habitat, academia and representatives of religious organizations. Because the gathering was an open-discussion format and the group size was small by design, Akif said the event provided an open dialogue for addressing issues of gender-based violence, especially against women by focusing on remedies involving the young male population.

Because of the Institute’s project work on gender-based violence, especially in Haiti, Akif found natural parallels between our work and the general findings and themes presented in the UN-Habitat sponsored event. Namely, how do we fully capitalize on the role young men can play in actively preventing violence through training and education?

Also in attendance was our former Online Education coordinator, Michael Di Maria. Michael was part of the planning and coordination of this event in his current role with Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), which also co-sponsored the meetings with the Man Up Campaign based in New York City. LCIF and Man Up Campaign are working on a pilot project focused on reversing commonly held stereotypes of young girls and women, while emphasizing a positive and non-violent paragon for masculinity. For an overview of the Foundation’s Lions Quest program, a social and emotional learning program that has seen activity in over 95 countries worldwide, click here.

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