We know that the recognition of women’s contributions and the realization of their full potential is vital for a thriving world. 

At the halfway point of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we are leaving more than half the world behind according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals Report 2023. What have we learned about what works and how can we move forward in building a world where all women and girls thrive?

Join Harvard University's Center for International Development (CID) on May 1-2, 2024 for our 15th annual Global Empowerment Meeting (GEM), GEM24: Breaking Barriers for Women and Girls, where change-makers from academia, government, business, civil society, media, and philanthropy will gather on campus to share insights and develop action-focused strategies and solutions. GEM24 is co-hosted by Harvard Kennedy School’s Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) and is uniquely positioned to bring together preeminent scholars, public policy leaders, and philanthropists who are on the front lines of fighting for solutions at a global scale. View the line-up of speakers for GEM24.

Indian women walking in city
Indian women walking to the market wearing traditional saris. credit: Belle Maluf

GEM24: Breaking Barriers for Women and Girls will explore what works to advance gender equity, with a particular lens on both the challenges and opportunities emerging from developing countries and the role society needs to play. While the focus will be on women and girls, we will explore how shifting ideas of gender roles and identities can become enabling forces rather than inhibiting ones. In doing so, we will meet trailblazers who have been at the forefront of extraordinary change and have successfully broken the barriers women and girls encounter, recognizing that many of these efforts have been decades in the making.  

GEM24 will take a proactive approach, highlighting areas where women and girls are close to achieving equity – and where tangible collective solutions can surmount the remaining hurdles. We will also grapple with cases where these barriers still seem unsurmountable and even unrecognized. The emphasis will be on action and on bringing committed individuals and organizations together, so that we have pathways to collectively promote and pursue evidence-informed and iteratively improving solutions.

Turning Research into Action 

For the second year, in partnership with Harvard Radcliffe Institute, CID’s GEM Incubation Fund will catalyze new collaborations between researchers and practitioners focused on advancing gender equity in developing nations. 

Tune in on May 2, 2024 to hear from change makers on the frontlines of advancing gender equity in developing countries at CID's annual Global Empowerment Meeting, GEM24: Breaking Barriers for Women and Girls.


GEM24 is co-hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School's Women and Public Policy Program.

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