Christ, Creighton Collaborate
to Promote Women’s Education
President Carol Christ met with leaders from 14 other
women’s colleges in August to devise a strategy for ongoing collaboration to
increase access to quality educational opportunities for girls and women. Christ
co-founded the group Women’s Education Worldwide (WEW) with Mount Holyoke College
President Joanne V. Creighton.
Among the areas of collaboration committed to by WEW
representatives during the four-day summit in Bellagio, Italy, were faculty, student
and staff exchanges; data sharing; and the development of an internationalized curriculum
touching on subjects of cross-cultural importance, including women in politics and
“This level of cooperation among so many disparate
institutions may be rare in higher education but it speaks volumes about the growing
need to advance opportunities for women everywhere, regardless of cultural, economic,
religious or historical contexts,” said Christ.
“When women are educated, all of society benefits—whether
in terms of economic productivity, public health or an engaged citizenry,” said
WEW’s members, now about 50, include colleges
and universities from five continents, large and small, public and private, well
established and new.
“We are making great strides in harnessing the
collective energy of women’s institutions around the world to open new opportunities
for educational advancement and social change,” said Hoon Eng Khoo ’73,
recently named vice president of academic planning for the Asian University for Women,
which will open the doors of its undergraduate program in Bangladesh in 2009. As
a Smith alumna, Khoo credits her women’s college education as an inspiration
for her work on behalf of women’s education in Asia.