SEATTLE — April 13, 2006 — In the past year, Liberia, Chile, Germany and South Korea for the first time have elected women leaders — a demonstration of how far women have come. Yet worldwide, more girls and women between 15 and 44 die from violence than from cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined. Domestic violence, dowry deaths and discriminatory laws that prevent women from having control over their bodies, owning property or participating in civic affairs are the largest threats women face at the global level.
However, according to Kavita N. Ramdas, president and CEO of the San Francisco-based Global Fund for Women, research indicates that the key to reversing this trend is through education and empowerment. "Educating girls and raising the status of women are the most powerful ways to address poverty, c hild and maternal mortality, and the threat of AIDS and other diseases," she says. "Enough of treating the symptoms. Invest in women's lives and we will find a remedy that cures us all."
On Tuesday, April 18, Ramdas will address global health and human rights for women and girls at events to be held at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington. Members of the media are welcome to attend both events, which are sponsored by the Puget Sound Partners for Global Health, a collaboration of Seattle researchers, health-care professionals, students and non-governmental organizations committed to improving global health (please see sidebar for more details about both events and the sponsoring organization).
Ramdas has received many awards for her contributions to advancing women's human rights and for being an exemplary role model for girls and women. Her many appointments include serving on the board of directors of the Rural Development Institute in Seattle, a nonprofit organization that helps the rural poor in developing countries obtain legal rights to land.
Before joining the Global Fund for Women, Ramdas supported domestic and international initiatives in economic development as a program officer at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Ramdas was born and raised in India and speaks Urdu, Hindi, English, German, French and Spanish.
After-school program at the Hutchinson Center (private event)
From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Hutchinson Center, Ramdas will speak to local middle- and high-school students about what it takes to be a global citizen and what students can do to make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of people worldwide. The invitation-only event will be held at the Robert M. Arnold Building, Room M1-A303, located at 1100 Fairview Ave. N. in Seattle.
Evening lecture at the University of Washington (public event)
From 7:30 to 9 p.m., Ramdas will deliver an address entitled "What's Good for Women's Bodies is Good for the Body Politic!" at the UW Husky Union Building (HUB) Ballroom. The event will be preceded by a resource fair at 6:30 p.m.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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About the Puget Sound Partners for Global Health (PSPGH)
Puget Sound Partners for Global Health is a collaboration of Seattle-area researchers, health-care professionals, students and non-governmental organizations committed to improving global health. PSPGH links the Seattle global-health community by sharing information; funding international training, education and research opportunities; and holding events focused on global health. Partner organizations: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Institute for Systems Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, PATH, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, University of Washington School of Medicine, University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine. For more information, visit www.pspgh.org.