Yasmeen Hassan and Maria Bello to Discuss the State of Women and Girls at #BlogHer17

BlogHer Original Post

The announcements are coming fast and furious now with four weeks to go, and we are gratified to bring an important conversation to the #BlogHer17 stage to examine the state of women and girls around the world, with two women who are focused on improving that state. We’re taking the conversation significantly more international with a dynamic pair of global activists who will take the main stage on Saturday afternoon.



Actor, author, producer, and activist Maria Bello has focused her energies on global women’s rights for thirty years. She was voted one of Variety magazine’s most powerful women in Hollywood for her activism with women in Darfur. Maria also traveled to Kosovo during the war to interview women about the genocide and sexual violence against them and lobbied congress to organize the first ever hearing on rape as a weapon of war. She started a women’s clinic in Haiti and holds the title of Ambassador at Large for the women in Haiti. She has spoken at the State Department on women and social business and at the UN on women in media. She is also a ReFrame Ambassador for Women in Film to work towards gender parity in the entertainment industry. Her films in production center on women and diverse voices. For example, Maria is currently producing a VR piece and 2D documentary about an all female militia fighting ISIS.

Yasmeen Hassan is the Global Executive Director of Equality Now, an organization that has been is using the law for 25 years to protect and promote human rights for women and girls around the world. Their motto is that “legal change means social change…and it works”. Prior to joining Equality Now, she was with the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women where she worked on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Secretary-General’s study on violence against women. She has served on the Council on Foreign Relations’ Advisory Board on Child Marriage, provided expert guidance to the U.N. Trust to End Violence Against Women, and advocates for women’s rights through appearances in numerous media outlets, including CNN, Al Jazeera, the Huffington Post, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Yasmeen holds a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School where, among other subjects, she studied Islamic law and women’s rights. For Yasmeen, the law makes a critical difference; it is a statement of your worth as a citizen and influences the direction your life will take. Growing up in Pakistan, her defining moment came at age 10 when her country’s laws were ‘Islamacized’ treating women as second class citizens. Advocating for women’s rights became a major part of Yasmeen’s education and career, ultimately leading her to author the first study of domestic violence in Pakistan which became the nation’s submission to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.


These two warriors for women will talk about the real change they’ve seen, the tactics that have been most effectively…and how they prioritize the work that remains to be done.

I expect to be inspired. Galvanized. Perhaps humbled. Because Maria and Yasmeen are walking the talk on behalf of women across the globe.

Elisa Camahort Page is the Co-Founder of BlogHer and Conference Program Chair.  You can find her on Twitter at @ElisaC

 

 

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