A growing place for girls in development conversation

Devex Associate editor Kelli Rogers sat down with Theo Sowa, chief executive officer of the African Women’s Development Fund, at Women Deliver 2016.

The development community is talking about women and girls, but they’re not always acting in ways that place women and girls centrally in that conversation, according to Theo Sowa, chief executive officer of the African Women’s Development Fund.

Sowa pointed to initiatives such as The Girl Generation, an effort to end female genital mutilation, as an example of a group ensuring that girls are central to decision making. AWDF itself is a grantmaking foundation that supports local, national and regional women’s organizations working toward the empowerment of African women — and Sowa noted that she sees more opportunity than ever for locally led initiatives.

“It’s hard for people to give up that power,” Sowa said in reference to international organization allowing national groups to lead.

Watch the video to find out which quote from another speaker at Women Deliver 2016 most resonated with her.

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About the author

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    Kelli Rogers

    Kelli Rogers is a global development reporter for Devex. Based in Bangkok, she covers disaster and crisis response, innovation, women’s rights, and development trends throughout Asia. Prior to her current post, she covered leadership, careers, and the USAID implementer community from Washington, D.C. Previously, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.