UN Women’s HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality has concluded its inaugural United States #GetFree University Tour, which brought ideas of gender equality directly to students at colleges and universities throughout the Northeast. At each stop, a dynamic conversation among students, faculty, gender experts and thought-leaders explored challenges and opportunities for getting more girls and women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects and careers. The Tour also brought a global conversation on gender to students, empowering them to explore their own understanding of gender equality.
Building on the success of the #GetFree Tour in the UK and France, which engaged more than 140,000 students, UN Women partnered with HeForShe Thematic Champion, Exelon— one of the movement’s corporate champions that has made a concrete commitment to increase the number of women in STEM fields.
“We are excited to have joined forces with Exelon to bring this important conversation about gender equality directly to students in the U.S. and honored that these universities have opened their doors to welcome us and the #GetFree Tour,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. “Each generation of university students that emerges from these formative years of education is a new chance for the world to make progress.”
“Advancing gender equality in the workforce is something we discuss at every level of our business, and it’s why the Exelon Foundation committed 3 million USD for initiatives to support STEM education for girls and increase female retention in our company,” said Exelon President and CEO, and HeForShe Thematic Champion, Chris Crane. “By helping to bring the HeForShe movement to universities, we hope to expand this conversation to the next generation and together take actionable steps toward a more equitable future.”
The tour reached approximately 85,000 students at the following five universities:
- Georgetown University,
- Morgan State University,
- University of Delaware,
- Columbia University, and
- Stony Brook University.
Georgetown University and Stony Brook University are part of the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 program.
The HeForShe team traveled in an environmentally friendly electric Proterra bus, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Since its launch on 20 September 2014, millions of men from around the world and from all walks of life, including Heads of State, CEOs and global luminaries have committed to gender equality. HeForShe has been the subject of more than 2 billion conversations on social media, with off-line activities reaching every corner of the globe.