Washington, DC - Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell will convene experts, development practitioners, and policy makers for the Women and Foreign Policy: Ending Early and Forced Marriage event at the Department on State on September 24 from 9 – 11 a.m.

The program will include a panel discussion on how ending early and forced marriage can promote U.S. foreign policy and what development, diplomacy, and research is needed to further global efforts on the issue. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Susan Markham will deliver closing remarks.

The event will also feature scenes from the film Difret, which will be introduced by the producer, Dr. Mehret Mandefro. From executive producer Angelina Jolie, this powerful film tells the story of a girl and a woman lawyer who take on the Ethiopian tradition of “telefa,” or marriage by abduction.

Women and Foreign Policy: Ending Early and Forced Marriage is the inaugural event in a series of meetings hosted by Ambassador Russell. The Women and Foreign Policy series will look at the relationship between gender inequality and foreign policy, with a focus on solutions and best practices.