Gender equity will be the biggest moral challenge the international community will face in the next century, according to Nicholas D. Kristof, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, who visited the Harvard Kennedy School on Sept. 27.
“In the nineteenth century, the central moral challenge for the world was slavery and in the twentieth century the paramount moral challenge was totalitarianism,” Kristof said. “In this century the central moral challenge—and really the cause of our times—is going to be gender equity around the globe.”
The seminar was moderated by Nicholas Burns, professor of the practice of diplomacy and international politics, and was co-sponsored by the Future of Diplomacy Project, the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy and the Women and Public Policy Program.
Citing examples of gender inequality around the world, Kristof drew from his extensive experience abroad. One story featured 14-year old Mahabouba Muhammad from Sudan who suffered from an obstetric fistula, a complication from obstructed labor, which resulted in nerve damage in both of her legs and the loss of her child.