Wellesley Centers for Women Executive Director Layli Maparyan Led International Panel

March 28, 2014

The Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) organized "The Power of Data: How Research Advances Social Change for Women and Girls," a parallel event of the 58th session of the  U.N. Commission on the Status of Women held March 13 in New York City.

The WCW takes the strong view that rigorous research, sophisticated statistics, and disaggregated data are essential to advancing women’s and girls’ equality and empowerment. For research to be effective in moving the needle on social change, both micro and macro processes need to be investigated, documented, and tested.

WCW Katherine Stone Kaufmann '67 Executive Director Layli Maparyan led the panel of social science researchers and international advocates for women and girls that included Priya Nanda, group director for the Social & Economic Development Group, International Center for Research on Women; Akosua Darkwah, director of the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy and senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Ghana; and Haven Ley, senior advisor to the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The speakers facilitated vigorous conversation about how women-and-gender research institutes around the world can and should serve as key partners in advancing development and other social change initiatives worldwide. They also shared examples and framed some ways NGOs can access and collect data, independently and more effectively in collaboration.

Perspectives from all the panelists were well received by the diverse audience of advocates, funders, and community-based organization and youth leaders.

Audio, slides, and handouts from the program are available online.