First Ladies and Rising Women Leaders Meet To Define Leadership for A New Era

NEW YORK — For nearly 10 years, the Global First Ladies Alliance (www.GFLA.org) has been convening first ladies for high-level policy dialogues in the US and across Africa. This year, the group is bringing in voices and partners not traditionally engaged in or given access to these conversations: rising women leaders and new media platforms.

The event, The Future of Women: Leadership for a New Era, to be held on September 21st in New York, will be co-hosted by Facebook in partnership with M·A·C AIDS Fund and OkayAfrica, and will bring rising African women leaders in to share their visions for the future directly with the First Ladies. Together, First Ladies and these emerging leaders have the potential for exponential impact, reaching both policy-makers and leaders as well as youth and those shaping popular culture.

During the event, the work of rising African women leaders in the area of Tech, Social Impact and Creative Entrepreneurship will be recognised with the announcement of the Global First Ladies Alliance #theFutureofWomen 2017 Award recipients. Throughout the day, a global audience will be invited to connect to conversations via Facebook Live hosted by OkayAfrica’s Facebook page.

Global First Ladies Alliance Founder Cora Neumann – “Since 2008, we have worked with 45 first ladies on policy and programming in their countries and worldwide. This year, given the current political climate for women around the world, we feel it is imperative to reach an even wider audience, and to find ways to spur more creative solutions for promoting women and women’s leadership. By bringing in the voices of rising women leaders, and partnering with new media platforms, we hope to uncover new solutions and reach harder-to-access groups such as youth and culture-makers. We are also excited to introduce the work of emerging leaders to African First Ladies through our new The Future of Women award.”

Commenting on the partnership, Ebele Okobi, Public Policy Director, Africa said: “We are honoured to be part of such an important and influential event. At Facebook, we are passionate about not only supporting women in their growth, but helping to change the narrative for women on the Continent. Our aim is to build, strengthen and empower a global community, and we know when women do better, economies do better.”

Nancy Mahon, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability for Estee Lauder and Global Executive Director of the M·A·C AIDS Fund – “M·A·C Cosmetics believes in supporting the fierce and the fearless, and that’s why the M·A·C AIDS Fund is proud to join forces with the Global First Ladies Alliance, Facebook, and OkayAfrica to elevate the voices of First Ladies and other women leaders who are not only critical to the HIV/AIDS response, but to all sectors of society. These women are champions and change-makers who will shape the future of Africa, and we’re honored to celebrate them, hear their perspectives, and work with them to identify solutions to improve the lives of women and girls around the world.”

OkayAfrica: “OkayAfrica is proud to have created a platform that highlights African voices on a global scale; we are proud to center the voices of African women. Uplifting emerging African artists and culture makers, and recognizing rising African stars in the tech, social justice, and the creative arts has been part of our mission – to be able to translate that to an actual award which will help young leaders grow is a beautiful opportunity. We look forward to the dialog between the First Ladies and the specially curated group of African women we’ve tapped as true culture makers and thought leaders from our 100 Women series.”

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