March 26, 2013

Huntsman Hall
Dhirubhai Ambani Auditorium, G06
3730 Walnut Street
  • Molly Melching

    Founder and Executive Director, TOSTAN

Changing Harmful Social Norms in Traditional Societies

The Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program presents The 13th Annual Goldstone Forum

"Molly Melching saw a deeply disturbing but deeply entrenched practice and refused to accept that it couldn’t be stopped. Her relentless efforts are proof that commitment and partnership can drive transformational change."  –Hillary Clinton

Molly Melching first came to Senegal from Illinois in 1974 to study French. She never left. She founded TOSTAN—an inspirational organization that has received prestigious international awards including the Hilton Humanitarian Prize for "extraordinary contributions toward alleviating human suffering," UNESCO prizes for Literacy and Child Education and "for being one of the most innovative education programs in the world," the Skoll Foundation Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and many others.

As a result of TOSTAN’s work in partnership with local institutions, over 6,000 communities in seven African countries have publicly declared their decision to abandon female genital cutting (FGC) and child/forced marriage, and Senegal’s government has now woven TOSTAN’s model into a National Action Plan to end FGC in Senegal by 2015.

Molly Melching has been recognized by Forbes as one of the ten most important women in the world in the field of women’s rights, and Newsweek has called her one of the "150 Women Who Shake the World" in 2011 and 2012. Her biography, However Long the Night, will be published by HarperOne and the Skoll Foundation in April 2013.