On Monday, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett took part in a three-day conference sponsored by Women Deliver, a global advocacy organization dedicated to improving women's health. Valerie joined actress Ashley Judd, United Nations Development Programme Administrator Helen Clark, and Vice President of Malawi Joyce Banda on a special panel about women and power. Arianna Huffington served as the moderator.
During the course of the panel, Arianna asked each participant to offer her perspective on how power -- social, political, cultural, or governmental -- can be used to create social good. This diverse group shared interesting perspectives, yet all shared common themes of knowing your own value, understanding the need for flexible workplaces, and helping other women. With her unique experience in law, business, and local and federal government, Jarrett's comments focused on the need for women to push for what they want, rather than to rely on others to provide it. Valerie told a story about the first time she asked for a raise -- and got it!
More than 500 people attended the panel, and more than 3,000 people from around the world attended the 2010 Women Deliver Conference. Advocates, corporate executives, artists, government leaders, youth representatives, and many more participants came together to network, discuss strategies, and share best practices for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with a focus on MDG #5, which seeks to reduce maternal mortality and achieve universal access to reproductive health. The White House Council on Women and Girls supports policies and programs within the Administration that work to not only improve women’s health, but also to encourage healthier lifestyles and healthier families.
Jenny Kaplan is Deputy Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls