Difference Maker: Denise Dunning unlocks girl power through Let Girls Lead

Stacy Teicher Khadaroo – The Christian Science Monitor – Monday 23 February, 2014 (originally published Feb 21)

Denise Dunning with women from Let Girls Lead
Let Girls Lead founder and executive director Denise Dunning (second from r.) leads a team-building exercise in Antigua, Guatemala. Image: Let Girls Lead

Let Girls Lead has provided training and services to more than 40,000 adolescent girls to foster a movement of global girl power.

To help girls stay in school, women and girls in Malawi are taking a stand against child marriages. So far they have persuaded leaders in 22 villages to penalize men who try to marry a woman under age 21. One possible penalty? Taking away some of the man’s goats or chickens.

It’s the kind of strategy that probably wouldn’t have occurred to a US-based nonprofit. But in countries where girls and women bear the brunt of poverty, Let Girls Lead, an Oakland, Calif.-based initiative founded by Denise Dunning, helps them amplify their voices and broaden their hopes, turning small victories into large-scale changes.

From village girls in Guatemala to a famous singer in Ethiopia, social entrepreneurs are transforming their societies with the help of Let Girls Lead, which offers training and other support to foster a movement of global girl power. . .

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