Recognizing Programs that Empower Girls and Women

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Recognizing Programs that Empower Girls and Women

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Masy Sou went from selling fruit in a market to earning a university degree in accounting and finance thanks to the employment and education opportunities she gained from Digital Divide Data

Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 12:10pm

As we prepare to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, I am reflecting on so many factors that led to where I am today. My mother grew up in India when the path for most women was not one of higher education and a professional life. Yet, with the support of her family, she pursued an advanced degree and became an internationally acclaimed scientist. At a time when arranged marriages were the standard, she met my father and they wed in a non-traditional “love marriage.” With her quiet strength, she was a pioneer, and her experience and outlook helped shape who I am and the path I have taken.

I, too, had the support of my family to pursue dreams of a college degree and professional career, and to be a wife and mother. But many girls and women are not afforded these opportunities, a lack of access which leads to millions trapped in a cycle of poverty, abuse, and poor health—an inherent inequality—where 66 million girls around the world are not in school, 150 million girls are victims of sexual violence each year, and the number 1 cause of death for girls ages 15 to19 is childbirth.

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Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | Cisco | Corporate Social Responsibility | Empowering Women | International Women's Day | cisco csr | csr