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Philippines President backs World Economic Forum International Women's Day appeal

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- World Economic Forum and Philippines President Arroyo ask the global community for their ideas to close gender gaps
- Business and civil society leaders have responded to the YouTube appeal marking International Women's Day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kKZRbidejA
- The Forum's Women Leaders and Gender Parity Programme (http://www.weforum.org/en/Communities/Women%20Leaders%20and%20Gender%20Parity/index.htm) works around the globe to boost gender equality

The World Economic Forum and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, President of the Philippines, have appealed to the global community for solutions to close the equality gap between men and women.

In a YouTube appeal ahead of International Women's Day on 8 March, President Arroyo asks: "What do you think needs to be done in your companies, your countries, your schools, your organizations and in your own families to close the gender gap - now and forever?" She notes that "The Forum's Global Gender Parity Group is composed of both women and men - leaders who believe that closing the gender gap is essential to the competitiveness of their own country and of the world ... Now, more than ever, we need to lift up all of our citizens, particularly women who are the backstop to many of our economies around the world."

Business, civil society and religious leaders have responded to the appeal, submitting video clips with their ideas. These include:

Beth A. Brooke (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wR_Ck8uJKsI), Global Vice-Chair, Ernst & Young, USA; Cherie Booth QC (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpG8bQ8yspQ), Founder Member, Matrix Chambers, United Kingdom; Helene D. Gayle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JwRukJnJZI), President and Chief Executive Officer, CARE USA, USA; Vineet Nayar (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvB2LAPuF8o), Chief Executive Officer, HCL Technologies, India; James H. Quigley (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjrPKOj-pGM), Global Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte, USA; Laura D. Tyson (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOlMndCH-dU), Professor of Business Administration and Economics, University of California, Berkeley, USA, and Chair, Global Agenda Council on Gender Parity; and Ann Veneman (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3xYnpf11bk), Executive Director, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), New York, and Chair, Global Agenda Council on the Welfare of Children.

"The World Economic Forum's Women Leaders and Gender Parity Programme is working on all continents to promote female leadership and close gaps between the genders for healthier, fairer, better educated and integrated societies along with more competitive economies," said Saadia Zahidi, Forum Associate Director and Head of the Programme and Co-Author of the Forum's Global Gender Gap Report (http://www.weforum.org/en/Communities/Women%20Leaders%20and%20Gender%20Parity/GenderGapNetwork/index.htm).

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