Malloy, Greenwood and McNamara address UN Women’s Conference on Gender Equality

Cathy Malloy, first lady of Connecticut, Debra Greenwood, CEO of the Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport and Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara are among the speakers at today’s United Nations conference on gender equality for women and girls.

A Call to Action for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment will present panelists and speakers with diverse perspectives on major areas of focus for UN Women, the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Two-time Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and many other speakers throughout the day, including youth presenters, will join forces with UN experts, global advocates and sports stars at the May 17 conference from 9:30 a,m. to 6 p.m. in the UN Headquarters in New York.

Obaid-Chinoy won her first Academy Award for her documentary, Saving Face (2012), which addressed acid attacks on Pakistani women. Her most recent Academy Award came for her documentary A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).

More than 350 leaders from corporate, family businesses, foundations, and philanthropic communities will come together to gain awareness of the most pressing issues women face globally and will begin working toward solutions together.

The program will include Lakshmi Puri, assistant- secretary-general of the United Nations and deputy executive director of UN Women, who will lead the day-long conference.

Loreen Arbus, president of the Loreen Arbus Foundation, will deliver the opening keynote address on Violence Against Women and Girls with Disabilities. She is a nationally known advocate for people with disabilities.

Professor Nadia Badawi, leading neonatologist and recipient of the Order of Australia Medal, Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation, will speak on the related topic From Destitution to Hope: Empowering Mothers of Children with Disabilities.

Other headliners joining the program include two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion Abby Wambach and Lara Logan, correspondent for 60 Minutes;

A panel focused on Broadening Participation in Computing Fields: Bringing About Gender Parity will be led by an expert panel from Google as part of the company’s commitment to increasing computer science opportunities for all, regardless of gender, ethnicity, geography, or socio-economic level.

It will be moderated by Kathryn Minshew, founder of the Muse, a career development platform. Panelists include Sepehr Hejazi Moghadam, Google’s head of research and development, K-12 education.

Other speakers are Terri Macleod, senior producer: Health and Wellness, Access Hollywood; Dr. Iris Bohnet, professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Catalina Escobar, CNN Top 10 Hero and founder of the Juan Felipe Gomez Foundation.

The Conference will also feature, Casey Gwinn, co-founder of the National Family Justice Center. For more information on women’s empowerment, visit

The Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport is Connecticut's first family justice center and serves Easton, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Monroe, Trumbull and Stratford.