Conference will feature star-studded lineup of speakers, expert panels and citizen advocates who will call on leaders to bring about positive change for women and girls worldwide.
WASHINGTON, DC (May 18, 2018) – On May 21-23, the global poverty-fighting organization CARE will convene its 16th annual conference, bringing together more than 300 citizen advocates, corporate partners, philanthropists, humanitarians and international development experts at George Washington University for three days of inspiration, learning, connection and advocacy on behalf of poor women and girls around the world.
This year’s conference theme, “Your Voice. A World of Change,” underscores the urgency of action, particularly as we face disproportionate cuts to the foreign assistance budget, despite the rising level of need around the world. There has never been a more critical moment to stand firmly against the systems that marginalize women and girls and keep them in poverty, and to champion legislation that supports and protects them wherever they are.
“CARE’s work to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice faces serious challenges around the world – from armed conflicts that have displaced record numbers of people to pervasive sexual abuse and harassment to increasing threads of political isolationism,” said Michelle Nunn, president and CEO of CARE. “But we know what will keep us on the path of progress: equality for women and girls. So next week, at the CARE National Conference, we will use our voices to fight for, and lift up, women and girls around the world and ensure real change happens both in our nation’s capital and globally.”
Key speakers at the conference include: Sally Yates, former Acting U.S. Attorney General; Judy Woodruff, Anchor and Managing Editor of PBS NewsHour; Carla Hall, Co-Host of ABC’s “The Chew;” Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA); Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ); Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Juliette Kayyem, National Security Analyst for CNN; Michelle Bekkering, Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); Amb. Ertharin Cousin, Payne Distinguished Lecturer at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Visiting Fellow at the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University; Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International; and Michèle Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense and co-founder and board member of the Center for a New American Security. The three-day conference will culminate with a day of action when conference participants advocate on behalf of the foreign assistance budget and gender equality in meetings with members of Congress and staffers.
Throughout the conference attendees will have a chance to engage in – and the see the early results of – CARE’s #ThisIsNotWorking campaign to stop sexual abuse and harassment in the workplace worldwide. In just the first two months of the campaign, more than 100,000 people around the world have signed a petition calling on the International Labour Organization (ILO) to create the first-ever global treaty on preventing workplace sexual harassment. The largest share of those signatures – more than 85,000 – have come from Americans inspired by women such as Alicia Lanchimba, a domestic worker from Ecuador whose story was featured in the campaign. Lanchimba will personally deliver those signatures on the conference’s main stage to delegates who will be representing the U.S. at the ILO’s annual meeting that begins next week in Geneva. Joining her in the delivery will be Iman El-Mahdi, leader of a CARE program that has turned male tuk-tuk drivers into women’s advocates on the streets of Cairo, and CARE advocate Hannah Sweeney of Traverse City, Mich., one of 300,000 citizen advocates across the U.S. who raise their own voices on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable women and girls.
Also during the conference, CARE will host the DC premiere screening of Soufra (2017) – executive produced by Susan Sarandon – the unlikely and wildly inspirational story of intrepid social entrepreneur Mariam Shaar, a generational refugee who has spent her entire life in a Lebanese refugee camp. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Thomas Morgan and CARE Chef Advocate Asha Gomez.
The CARE National Conference is sponsored by Delta, UPS, DOVE® Chocolate, Cargill, P&G and Target.
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 94 countries and reached more than 80 million people around the world. To learn more, please visit www.care.org.