Queen Rania Joins Panel on Empowering Girls and Women at CGI's Annual Meeting

September 21, 2010

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department- New York) Her Majesty Queen Rania was a member of a panel discussion that took place today as part of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meetings in New York. The Panel discussed the issues empowering girls and women, with increased focus on the developing world. Moderated by TV personality and journalist Katie Couric, the panel also included Ms. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia and Mr. Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca Cola.

Her Majesty is in New York accompanying His Majesty King Abdullah II on a trip to the US.

In the discussion Her Majesty focused on the importance of girls’ education and its feasibility and instrumentality in ensuring a bright and healthy future for them.

Her Majesty first discussed how globally girls face an uphill struggle, especially when it comes to education. She elaborated by stressing the importance of education in changing a girls future, especially in places like Africa where about 35 million girls are not enrolled in school, and thus are more likely to get married earlier, leading to pregnancy which, in many parts of Africa, is not only a happy occasion, but a cause for worry, as AIDS is transmitted and pregnancy is a leading cause of death amongst African women.

Her Majesty added that women contributed in the last 20 years to the world’s GDP more than new technologies or the Chinese and Indian fast growing economies.

The Queen explained that in the developing world there is no such thing as an unemployed woman. Some women have to walk up to four hours to reach a clean water source, adding that providing such essential services as clean water supply, can free up a woman’s time to pursue an income generating career.