As 2015 looms near, the world rapidly approaches the “post-MDG” era. This milestone brings with it a shift in global health priorities, which include an emphasis on gender disparities and their impact on health. While investment in girls’ health, education and well-being is widely understood to positively influence individuals and populations, girls still lag significantly behind boys in access to health care, education, and self-determination. Additionally, societal norms continue to marginalize and, at times, harm them. While adolescents are the fastest growing segment of the population in the developing world, girls and young women do not always enjoy basic human rights offered to their male counterparts. Such disparities not only overwhelm the individual’s prospects for a healthy future, but also cause devastating effects on the economic and social outcomes of developing countries. Since a girl’s health is often shaped more by social forces than biological ones, these social inequalities place many girls and young women at risk for violence, sexual exploitation, forced early marriage, early pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other STIs. Especially among the poor, exclusion from schooling, quality health care, and the right to determine their own future, girls’ health suffers and robs them of educational attainment, productivity in employment, and the well-being of their own children.
While global leaders agree that there is not enough being done around the world to increase girls’ access to health care and education and improve girls’ overall well-being, effective means to address these issues remain widely unexplored.
The 2014 CHOP Global Health conference will explore these issues by sharing the reality that girls around the world face, and identifying means by which the global health community can invest in the lives of girls, and in doing so, the world’s future. Through expert faculty, a keynote address, and interactive panel discussions, this conference will provide learning opportunities for conference attendees to understand the many determinants of the health of girls, and explore interventions that are globally implemented to address gender disparities.
Dr. Ruth Levine Dr. Ruth Levine is a development economist and expert in international development, global health, and education. She currently serves as the Director of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Global Development and Population program. Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Levine was a deputy assistant administrator in the Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning at USAID, and a Senior Fellow and vice president for programs and operations at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC. Dr. Levine is the author of the influential report from the Center for Global Development on development and adolescent girls: Girls Count: A Global Investment & Action Agenda and Start with a Girl: A New Agenda for Global Health.
We are accepting abstract submissions until Sept. 1, 2014.
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