The inspiration to start Women's Global Education Project came to me when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal from 1996-98. As a volunteer, my responsibilities included programs to increase village food production, develop a village health facility, and mentor young girls in school. Through my work, I witnessed the scores of girls and young women left behind. They did not have the opportunity to attend school or to be active participants in community life. Nowhere was this more evident than in my own host family's home. My bright, funny and exuberant host sister, Khady, was not able to go to school. She desperately wanted to go to school and learn, but she never had the opportunity since, as a girl, she was expected to stay home and help with household tasks. Sending girls to school was seen as a waste since they were only expected to get married and raise a family. I wanted to give Khady and other girls like her the opportunity to attend school and make their own life decisions. I partnered with existing community-based organizations in both Senegal and Kenya to change beliefs and attitudes surrounding girls’ education and gender equality. We work at the grassroots level to promote long-lasting and sustainable change. I am proud to say that, today, Khady and hundreds of other young women just like her are enjoying the benefits of education thanks to the support of WGEP and our in-country partners.
Amy and Khady 20 years after they first met:
More about Amy and WGEP:
Amy Maglio is the Founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Global Education Project. In her role as ED, Amy collaborates with key stakeholders such as foreign governments, in-country partners, the United Nations, family foundations, and fortune 500 companies. In 2010 Amy was invited to present WGEP’s model as a “Best Practice” approach to girls’ education at the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative Conference in Dakar, Senegal, and was a drafter of the UN Declaration on Gender Equality. Also in 2010, Women’s Global Education Project was selected by the Neutrogena Corp. to be the face of Girls’ Education in the multimedia “Wave for Change” Campaign. Amy is a regular guest on Chicago Public Radio. In 2011, she received an Impact Award, from the Chicago Foundation for Women for her role in helping women and girls around the world. Most recently, Amy was selected as an Emerging Leader with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, class of 2014.
Amy holds a master’s degree from the School of International Service at the American University in Washington, D.C. and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is a gender specialist with experience in the field of international development having worked for nonprofit, business and government agencies. She began her career with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as a gender research analyst measuring the impact of the agency’s programs on women worldwide. Amy served in the United States Peace Corps in West Africa as an agriculture specialist.