Gender & Global Economic Development

Gender and Global Economic Development:  The Role of Women in Uplifting Marginalized Communities

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
7:00 pm
Hooker Auditorium, Clapp Building
Mount Holyoke College

Marginalized communities are synonymous with women in most parts of the world and yet women are the engine behind efforts to lift communities out of poverty. A panel of distinguished experts will share their experience from the field and their latest research, and discuss through their diverse perspectives on women in economic development. The panel discussion will include the role of women in post-conflict areas in the Middle East, post-Soviet Russia, and Sub-Sahara Africa, as well as women who are addressing poverty in the U.S. lesbian community.


M. V. Lee Badgett is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Public Policy & Administration at UMass, and her research and policy work focuses on LGBT poverty, sexual orientation discrimination, and marriage equality in the United States and other countries.  

Brenda Oppermann, J.D., International advisor with the United Nations, USAID, U.S. State Department, U.S. Military, and a number of NGO’s, has worked for 30 years on development issues with a focus on women.

Natalia Smirnova, Ph.D., Assistant Director of Research and Education, American Institute for Economic Research (AIER).  Her research focuses on issues pertaining to the position of women in the labor market in Russia. 

Polly Byers, International development consultant, has worked for over twenty five years for USAID, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Congress, the United Nations, and NGOs on a wide range of development and humanitarian issues, with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.

The panel will be moderated by Carla Oleska, Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts.

This event is sponsored by the Weissman Center for Leadership and its Community-Based Learning Program, and the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts