Media Advisory

The World at 7 Billion People: Major Event to Highlight Women and Girls

9 September 2011
Author: UNFPA

WASHINGTON – In late October 2011, world population will reach 7 billion people. Given this new reality, unleashing the power of women and girls is key to alleviating poverty and accelerating progress on global development goals.

National Geographic magazine created a yearlong series—including a


on changing fertility patterns in Brazil in the September 2011 issue—and has devoted a

special section of its website

to this population milestone.

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund

, is the lead agency on the United Nations’

7 Billion Actions campaign


On September 13, National Geographic and UNFPA are joining several government agencies and non-governmental organizations to host an event focusing on women and girls as critical engines of change in the new reality of 7 billion people.

Speakers and a youth advocate will spotlight ways that investing in women and girls is both cost-effective and essential to solving the challenges facing today’s world. When women are healthy, educated and can contribute fully to society, they trigger progress in their families, communities and nations, improving prospects for current and future generations.

A special event as world population reaches the 7 billion mark to raise awareness around global issues related to women and girls, unleash their potential and empower them to bring social change.


  • Lois Quam, Executive Director of the Global Health Initiative, U.S. Department of State
  • Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund
  • Kathy Calvin, Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation
  • Natalie Imbruglia, Singer, Actress and Virgin Unite Ambassador to end fistula.
  • Monique Coleman, Actress (High School Musical) and United Nations Youth Championwill join;
  • A panel of youth advocates: Ronan Farrow, Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for Global Youth Issues, U.S. Department of State; Alexandra Garita, Program Officer for International Policy, International Women's Health Coalition; Assumpta Namusoke, Advocate for PACE Uganda, an affiliate of PSI, a global health organization; and Kakenya Ntaiya, President and Founder of The Kakenya Center for Excellence.
  •  A special letter with a call to action from Ashley Judd, Actress, Humanitarian and PSI Global Ambassador

WHEN: Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 3-5 p.m. Reception to Follow

WHERE: National Geographic Society Headquarters Auditorium, 1145 17th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

Sponsor organizations include UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund;
U.S. Department of State;
U.S. Agency for International Development;
United Nations Foundation;
Americans for UNFPA;
National Geographic;
PSI (Population Services International); Population Action International;
International Women’s Health Coalition;
Aspen Global Health and Development;
Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health;
and Monique Coleman’s GimmeMo.

For more information, visit the fact sheets on the 7 Billion Actions website, a National Geographic 7 billion video, and a recent PBS NewsHour feature.

Note to Reporters: To arrange speaker interviews, or for media inquiries and images, please contact: Kathy Bonk,, 202-326-6767 or 202-258-6767 (cell).

For information about the National Geographic article by Cynthia Gorney and photojournalist John Stanmeyer, contact Beth Foster,


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