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The Women Deliver 2013 Conference: Empowering Women Around the World

By Vicki Escarra

Women Deliver - Betty Mulooki, Uganda

Since joining Opportunity International I have traveled around the world to support our programs and meet some of our 5 million financial services clients in the developing world who have been able to work their way out of poverty after receiving support and training from Opportunity International. Seeing the faces and hearing the voices of the women and children we are helping is always incredibly uplifting—like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

I’ve have seen the power of one woman and the impact of economic empowerment. It’s not just about giving a loan or supporting job opportunities. It’s about giving a woman a voice and the power and confidence to take control of their lives and give their families a better future. This week I’m in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for the Women Deliver 2013 Conference. Each year, this conference brings together thousands of advocates and experts from 170 countries including corporate leaders, policymakers, NGOs, media and others to focus on ways to improve the health and well-being of girls and women around the world. Attendees this year range from philanthropist Melinda Gates to Harvard School of Public Health Dean Julio Frenk to actress Jennifer Beals.

On Wednesday I’ll participate in a panel to discuss how Opportunity International and other leading organizations can advance the economic empowerment, health and well-being of women. The session, Investing in Women’s Economic Sustainability, will focus on the fact that economic empowerment is often at the heart of securing universal human rights for women and girls.

Thursday, I’ll deliver a presentation, Unexpected Leaders, to showcase how Opportunity International is helping leverage the power of one woman to work her way out of poverty, improve her life, and strengthen her family and community.

Visit http://opportunity.org/womendeliver to see Unexpected Leaders live. An archived version of the presentation will also be available beginning Thursday, May 30, 2013.

Please also join me for updates from the event by following @VickiEscarra. This is an exciting time to be part of Opportunity International and I’ll keep you up to date on the happenings from the conference.

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