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Asante Africa Foundation Highlights Education Quality and Access on UN Commission Panels

Oakland, CA, February 27, 2014 --( The NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY (NGO CSW/NY) a democratic, open forum advocating for gender equality and development, is holding its annual Status of Women (NGO CSW) conference in March. The Committee brings together NGO representatives from around the world for two weeks to network, share strategies and best practices in preparation for the UN Commission of Status of Women sessions. Erna Grasz, CEO of Asante Africa Foundation will participate in two panel discussions during the conference.

“What girls see, they have the potential to be,” states Grasz. “Everywhere I go, I advocate for women’s equality through education and economic opportunity. I share The Committee’s vision that realizing women’s potential drives progress across the international agenda.”

Rural women, particularly in Africa, account for a great proportion of a region’s labor force. However, they face more difficulty than men in accessing public services, social protection, employment opportunities and markets. Security issues and lack of identification documents pose additional challenges. Grasz said that “If rural women had equal access to education, we would see tremendous gains in family health, education and economic productivity.”

Erna Grasz will participate in two panel discussions. The first panel, on March 10, will discuss Global Philanthropic Models in Support of Women’s Causes. The second panel, titled Innovations in Education: Quality, Scale and Equality, will take place on March 15. The purpose of this panel is to discuss innovative approaches to improving education quality and access for all.

Asante Africa Foundation will present its Integrative Teacher Training Program, implemented in Tanzania as a collaborative model for combining small, individually successful projects into a cohesive and scalable multi-faceted approach to improving the quality of education at the secondary level. Within this framework, the engagement of local leaders and parents in rural communities will be highlighted as a tactic for successfully mitigating social and cultural barriers to girls’ access and academic achievement. Asante Africa Foundation will be joined by representatives from Pratham, Population Council and Developments in Literacy in this discussion, scheduled for March 15th, 8:30am at the 2nd Floor of the Church Center of the United Nations (777 United Nations Plaza), New York.

About Asante Africa Foundation
Asante Africa Foundation believes in the power of knowledge as the catalyst that will empower the next generation of change agents. We provide African youth with access to high quality education and the tools to apply their knowledge beyond the classroom, creating opportunities to transform Africa and the world. Asante Africa Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization with global headquarters in the U.S.A. (337 17th, Suite 217, Oakland, CA 94550). To learn more about Asante Africa Foundation or to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit us at or email

About Erna Grasz
Erna Grasz began her career as an electrical engineer and rose to the executive leadership with such well-known global companies as Philips, Tyco and KLA-Tencor. In 2006 she transitioned her leadership skills to the non-profit world, founding Asante Africa Foundation. As CEO, she has grown the organization to impact over 30,000 children and their communities in 7 years. Erna is passionate about combining strong business practices with a compelling mission and about developing leaders. She is also a certified executive coach and an award-winning speaker on the topics of leadership, communication skills, and project management.

About the Committee on the Status of Women, NY
The NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY (NGO/CSW/NY) is one of three women’s committees of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the UN (CoNGO). The NGO CSW/NY brings NGO representatives together to caucus, issue joint statements and provide wording for the Agreed Conclusions of the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Wome (CSW) meetings. It also works in partnership with other CoNGO committees to inform the UN and UN Women on a wide range of issues including violence against women, women’s health, migrant and refugee women, indigenous people’s rights, and the environment. The NGO/CSW/NY represents approximately 80 organizations
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