World Food Prize Laureate 2003 Catherine Bertini Talks About the Vital Importance of Investing in Girls

World Food Prize Laureate 2003 and Co-chair of the Global Agriculture Development Initiative for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Chair of the Council’s Girls in Rural Economies project, Catherine Bertini visited Ambassador Ertharin Cousin and staff at the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome, Italy (USUN Rome) on January 17.  She gave a briefing on the “Girls Grow: A Vital Force in Rural Economies” study which highlights how girls, as the backbone of rural economies, have the powerful potential to be agents of economic and social change in their homes, communities, and nations.

With the Girls Grow study in hand, Ms. Bertini delivered a simple, yet powerful message:  “If you want to change the world, invest in an adolescent girl.”   She outlined the seven recommendations in the Girls Grow study which provide specific policy and program solutions for development professionals, the private sector, policymakers, donors and implementers.    In the words of Ms. Bertini, “Because girls are powerful agents of change – they are natural resource managers by nature – we must invest in them.”