Former UNICEF CEO addresses Brattleboro school

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(Host) Carol Bellamy made her first public appearance as CEO of Brattleboro’s World Learning and School for International training this weekend. The outgoing UNICEF chief addressed this year’s graduate-degree recipients from the institution she now leads. The graduates were from more than fifty different countries.

Whatever international work they take on, Bellamy told them they could do no better than to improve the lives of children. And Bellamy linked the well being of children to women’s rights.

(Bellamy) “In my tenure at UNICEF I was occasionally criticized for putting particular emphasis on girls and women. Yet it is not UNICEF that places special emphasis on women and girls. It’s those who deny more girls than boys a seat in the classroom that have forced that emphasis. It is those who allow 500,000 women to die needlessly in childbirth every year that cause that emphasis. It is those who turn away as HIV and AIDS spread ever more rapidly among women and girls that place that emphasis. As long as women and girls are singled out for discrimination, they are, in my view in need of extra advocacy.”

(Host) Bellamy urged the graduates to work with persistence and patience on behalf of groups that are marginalized or abused.

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