Women and economic development topic at Rice’s Baker Institute Feb. 25

The crucial role of women in promoting economic development and innovation worldwide, with a special focus on the Middle East, will be examined by a panel at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy Feb. 25.


“Pathways to Empowerment: Women and the Economy in the Developing World” will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Baker Hall’s Doré Commons. The event is free and open to the public.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said, “Achieving our objectives for global development will demand accelerated efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment. Otherwise, peace and prosperity will have their own glass ceiling.” This panel discussion will shed light on the economic challenges facing women and propose concrete policy recommendations for empowering women to build safe, just and economically vibrant societies, according to event organizers. The event also aims at informing the public about the importance of foreign aid in combating global poverty and promoting women’s rights.


The keynote speaker will be Houston Mayor Annise Parker ’78. The panelists will be David Ray, head of policy and advocacy, CARE USA, and managing director, CARE Action Now; Marwa Shalaby, director, Baker Institute Women and Human Rights in the Middle East Program; Cristal Montañez Baylor, executive director, Hashoo Foundation USA; and Rogelio Garcia-Contreras, associate professor, University of St. Thomas (UST) Center for International Studies, and director, UST Social Entrepreneurship Program. Terence O’Neill, division manager, city of Houston Office of International Communities, will be the moderator.

“Pathways to Empowerment” is co-hosted by the Baker Institute’s Women and Human Rights in the Middle East Program, CARE and the city of Houston’s Office of International Communities.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.