The power of girls
The Nairobi slum of Kibera is a bad place to be a teen girl. But there is safety in numbers: These girls have started a 200-strong network of girls that protect each other from violence, HIV, pregnancy and prostitution. (Brent Stirton/Getty Images)
October 10th, 2011
02:30 PM ET

The power of girls

Editor's Note: Maria Eitel, president of the Nike Foundation, works with key players in economic and social development to achieve the foundation's objective of contributing to poverty alleviation.

By Maria Eitel – Special to CNN

The Nobel Committee got it right when they awarded three incredible women the Nobel Peace Prize - H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman - "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work."

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize recognizes more than the winners themselves. It recognizes the powerful force for positive change locked within half of our population. The Nobel Committee is joining the growing movement that sees female participation and voice as not only as a human rights issue; it is an economic, social and political issue. As Thorbjørn Jagland, head of the Nobel Committee, said, “We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society.” Jagland said it beautifully. There’s one critical word missing: girls. FULL POST

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Topics: Africa • Aid • Women • Yemen • Youth
The girl effect
Somali girls study at a school in Dadaab, the world's biggest refugee camp, in Dadaab, Kenya. (Getty Images)
September 19th, 2011
04:00 AM ET

The girl effect

Editor's Note: Maria Eitel, president of the Nike Foundation, works with key players in economic and social development to achieve the foundation's objective of contributing to poverty alleviation.

By Maria Eitel - Special to CNN

Investing in a girl stops poverty before it starts. That's the simple premise of the powerful force we call "The Girl Effect."  This week, The Girl Effect is on the global stage at the Clinton Global Initiative and the World Bank Annual Meeting. Take it from World Bank President Robert Zoellick or former U.S. President Bill Clinton: Investing in girls is smart economics.

FULL POST

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Topics: Development • Global • Women • Youth
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