Circle of Women to hold conference on ‘Girls + Education’ at Yale

Circle of Women, an organization that aims to mobilize students to provide access to education for girls around the world, will hold its first national conference at Yale on Saturday, Oct. 13.

The event, titled “Girls + Education,” coincides with and celebrates the United Nation’s International Day of the Girl. It will take place 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High St., and is free and open to the public.

Circle of Women is non-profit group founded and run by students. Its Yale chapter was established by Lauren Hoffman and Evie Freeman, both Class of 2014, who say they wanted to find a way to leverage grassroots action to make a meaningful difference to women. There are also chapters at Harvard, Georgetown, Princeton, Cornell, Brown, and Holy Cross.

“Girls + Education” will bring together representatives from every Circle of Women chapter, as well as Yale faculty and students, and practitioners in the relevant fields of development, non-profit work, and women’s empowerment. The event is presented in partnership with the 10x10 Educate Girls Change the World project and the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

“This is not an ordinary conference,” says Hoffman. “This day will challenge participants to re-think their approach to increasing and improving women’s education, to generate exciting new ways to connect the dots and to make a difference to those less fortunate.”

Highlights of the conference will include:

  • Introductory address by Kara Gustafson, Goldman Sachs Office of Corporate Engagement — 10,000 Women project.
  • “Islam, Women, & Education” workshop led by Sallama Shaker, Egypt’s first woman assistant minister of foreign affairs for the Americas, and visiting professor of Middle East & Islamic studies at Yale.
  • “International Development & Women’s World Bank” workshop, led by Anjali Banthia, senior associate, Women’s World Bank.
  • “Women, Agriculture, & Development” workshop, led by Maria Trumpler, senior lecturer at Yale and director of the Office of LBGTQ Resources.
  • “Global Women’s Leadership Initiative” workshop, featuring a video address by Rangita de Silva de Alwis, director of the initiative, which promotes networks among women leaders, and the mentoring and training of emerging women leaders, with the goal of having women represented in 50% of all public servants by 2050.

“We hope to share the energy and ideas that drove this conference with all participants,” Freeman says. “Our goal is that participants will walk away with new perspectives on the issue, empowering them to make a difference in their own unique way.”

For more information, visit the Circle of Women website.