FAST FORWARD by Melanne Verveer


How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose
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Two organizers of the contemporary global movement for women's rights demonstrate how they build networks and focus activities to create opportunities for women to exercise their rights.

Hillary Clinton provides the foreword to this account of building partnerships among government agencies, large and small corporations and foundations, grass-roots organizations, and individual activists. Verveer, who worked with Clinton during her husband's presidential terms, accompanied the then–first lady to the U.N.'s Fourth International Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, which marked a new departure for their ventures. She assisted Clinton and then–Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in organizing women's leadership and promoting the Vital Voices of Democracy Institute within the State Department. Later, she headed its not-for-profit reincarnation, Vital Voices. The spinoffs of their public and private efforts for women provide the framework for this memoir and handbook. For years, attorney Azzarelli has led campaigns to protect women from violence of all forms, and she co-founded the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell University to help toughen laws, and their enforcement, around the world. Abuse, domestic violence, trafficking, sexual slavery, and genital mutilation are among the issues that they confront. Other leaders—including International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, Coca-Cola CEO and board chairman Muhtar Kent, and Gates Foundation director Melinda Gates—advocate for the expansion of women's economic activity as a means to dramatically increase new profit sources. Verveer and Azzarelli also reference other corporations as well as local organizations involved with refugees, immigrants, and education aimed at qualifying girls scientifically and technically. The authors also provide useful discussions of research contributions into the benefits derived from increasing diversity at all levels of responsibility. Appendices feature information about relevant international organizations, further research, and a tool kit for moving “from anecdote to action.”

A durable contribution to the continued efforts to effect change for women.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-544-52719-5
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2015


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