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Women’s Empowerment: Smart Route to a Brighter Future for Developing Countries
November 24, 2014World Bank Conference Room – MC 11-715

Women play a vital role in driving the robust, shared growth needed to end extreme poverty and build resilient societies. But in many parts of the world, their potential, participation, and productive capacity are undervalued and untapped. The evidence is clear: The discrimination and deprivations that prevent women and girls from achieving their potential have enormous consequences not only for them, but for their families and communities as well.

A greater sense of self-empowerment can lead women to become more active participants in all spheres of life. This constitutes one of the pillars of the sweeping reforms required for greater regional economic integration in the Middle East and North Africa region, discussed in a new publication from the World Bank, “Over the Horizon: A New Levant.”

The book entitled “Cassandra’s Angel”, by author Gina Otto, contains an inspirational message intended to instill the ideas of self-reliance, self-worth, tolerance, and self-acceptance early on in girls’ life. Similar inspirational messages can be instilled in women. The educational system and media outlets in developing countries can effectively be used to spread these messages. 

This event will introduce ideas to kickstart a conversation on designing and implementing programs in developing countries aimed at empowering women.


  • Gina Otto is an award-winning author, international speaker, producer, social entrepreneur and children's advocate, Gina Otto is currently pioneering a movement to inspire individuals with her global Change My World Now Initiative. Founder of Gina's Ink and author of the award-winning children's book, "Cassandra's Angel," Otto's ongoing mission is to engage, educate and empower children to live their greatest lives and achieve their full potential. For 12 years, Otto worked in film, television and fashion with talented visionaries at Lucasfilm, NBC, CBS and Viacom. She became disheartened by the damage that mainstream media was having on the hearts, minds and self-perception of American girls. For 15 years, Otto has toured the country and the world speaking to girls and women, using "Cassandra's Angel" as a vehicle to help ignite the possibility and promise of a brighter future without limitations. At the request of mothers everywhere, Otto has expanded the platform to include boys.

  • When: 3-4:30 pm, Monday, November 24
  • Where: World Bank Conference Room – MC 11-715, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, D.C.
  • Contact: Faythe Agnes Calandra, fcalandra@worldbank.org