Women’s empowerment from an educational and humanitarian perspective will be the topic when Wilkes University hosts its United Nations Lecture Series on Tuesday, Oct. 16. Patience Stephens, former director and special advisor on education at United Nations Women, an organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, will speak at 4 p.m. The event will be in room 214 of the Arnaud C. Marts Center, 274 S. Franklin St.. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Prior to becoming the director and special advisor on education, Stephens held the office of director of the Intergovernmental Support Division of U.N. Women, working to support the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women and the U.N. Women Executive Board, both of which provide policy and operational guidance to U.N. Women.
Stephens has worked in international development for over 23 years. In the U.N. Secretariat between 1994 and 2010, she provided support to countries in addressing challenges associated with population and development As part of U.N. Secretariat’s Division for Social Policy and Development, she served as the head of the United Nations Programme on Youth from 2006 to 2008, leading the preparation of the flagship World Youth Report – 2007 on “Young People’s Transition to Adulthood: Progress and Challenges.” As the special assistant to the assistant secretary-general and special adviser to the secretary-general on gender issues and advancement of women between 2008 and 2010, Stephens played a major role in preparing and presenting analysis and justification to U.N. member states, leading to their decision to establish a new entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women – U.N. Women.
Stephens received her doctoral degree in demography from the University of Pennsylvania followed by a one-year post-doctoral fellowship at Princeton University.
The United Nations Lecture Series is a collaboration between Wilkes University and the Humpty Dumpty Institute’s Higher Education Alliance for the United Nations. The program brings U.N. officials to campus throughout the year for lectures and informal meetings with students.