Graduate Women International to highlight education entrepreneurship

Friday, 5 August 2016

Geneva, Switzerland, 05 August 2016 – Graduate Women International (GWI) will bring together education, gender and human rights stakeholders at its 32nd Triennial Conference in Cape Town, 24-26 August 2016. Through the strand of complexity in education, the conference will examine the significant role of education in enhancing women’s entrepreneurship and leadership in business. The conference will examine the critical juncture between education and industry and the need to encourage educational activities which promote women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment.

In 2015, total global unemployment stood at 197.1 million. The International Labour Organization projects the number will rise by about 2.3 million reaching 199.4 million by the end of 20161. Reportedly, women are likely to work more hours than men, for less money, perpetuating gender inequality at every level of economic and social empowerment. Labour markets and the demand for skills are changing requiring education systems to adapt to meet changing employment demands. Entrepreneurship promotes economic opportunity and serves as an agent of social justice. Through quality education, girls and women can gain entrepreneurial skills to help them invent their own careers and have the confidence to lead others.

Conference sessions addressing entrepreneurship include interactive panels, seminars and workshops. Apoorv Bamba from Startup Safari will lead a panel on Entrepreneurship seeding: Education as a catalyst. Deidre Ahern, Assistant Professor and Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin will lead a panel on Realising the leadership Potential of Women in Business - are quotas really the answer? Louise Van Rhyn from the Independent Institute of Education will examine The risks of forgetting the boys as we achieve better access for girls.

GWI President Catherine Bell states: “GWI supports the full participation of women in the drive for innovation and jobs, increasing levels of active citizenship, employability, social enterprise and new business creation. This conference will contribute to the dialogue on encouraging girls and women in higher education to make use of their enormous potential.”

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Graduate Women International (GWI) is a membership-based international nongovernmental organisation (NGO) based in Geneva, Switzerland, with a presence in over 80 countries. Founded in 1919, GWI is the leading girls’ and women’s global organisation advocating for women’s rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality education and training up to the highest levels. GWI is in special consultative status with ECOSOC and is an NGO maintaining official relations with UNESCO and ILO.