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A Seat at the Table

U.S. President Obama listens to German Chancellor Merkel following the G8 summit in Camp David

This phrase has been a common thread lately, as President Barack Obama used this in his recent commencement speech at Barnard College, and is continuing to use this message at the recent G8 summit.

Mentioning “female empowerment” in the same sentence as the European debt crisis and the continuing conflict in Afghanistan signals a shift of this issue from marginal to center stage. And not just center stage, but an international center stage.

The President spoke at Camp David, where the G8 talks are being held, saying, “We had a brief discussion around the issue of women’s empowerment, where we agreed that both, when it comes to economic development and when it comes to peace and security issues, empowering women to have a seat at the table and get more engaged and more involved in these processes can be extraordinarily fruitful.”

Continuing to embed women’s issues in economic and foreign policies is a strategy for the long term. As we have advocated through the charities we support, it is only when women around the world are fully empowered that true, lasting and sustainable equality can be attained. Equality is not a zero sum game.

Empowering women empowers all people through gender equality.

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