Women in the World Summit 2013

Heroes Hall of Fame

We find out what’s new with 2012’s Women of Impact

As the 2013 Women in the World Summit kicks off in New York City, we caught up with last year’s Women of Impact award winners. True to form, they are continuing their ceaseless efforts to improve the lives of women in communities around the globe.

Still saving Somalis—and writing books:

After Dr. Hawa Abdi received her Women of Impact award last year, violence in Somalia forced the temporary closure of the 90,000-person camp she runs in the countryside for internally displaced people. Camp residents fled to safety in Mogadishu, where Dr. Abdi’s foundation set up a new free healthcare clinic to serve them. In the last year she as been showered with additional honors including the John Jay Medal for Justice, the Social Humanitarian Award and the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award. April 2, 2013 marks the launch of her memoir, Keeping Hope Alive: One Woman—90,000 Lives Changed, co-written with Sarah J. Robbins.

Her first graduating class:

Back in 2009, Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya—who as a child in Kenya persuaded her father to let her attend school and ended up with a Ph.D.—opened a boarding school for underprivileged Maasai girls. This year, the first class of 8th-graders will graduate and head to high school. Ntaiya and staff are working to get scholarships for all 19 grads so they can continue their education. There are also camp programs twice a year, to reach even more girls—more than 250 so far—and teach them about women’s health, leadership skills, self-defense, and the dangers of female genital cutting.

The peace lady:

Leymah Gbowee, the Nobel peace prize winner who led a women’s movement to halt Liberia’s civil war, continues to spread her message about women’s power to change the world. She headed Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission until late 2012, when she stepped down because of differences in opinion on the appropriate way to promote national healing, a cause to which she remains devoted. She travels around the world to advocate for women’s rights and working for peace.

See Women of Impact awards ceremony

Read about 2013’s Women of Impact

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