Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Women in the World Stories and Solutions

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, activist/author Ayaan Hirsi and publisher Arianna Huffington have invitations to the Women in the World Stories and Solutions summit. Photos from The Daily Beast.

HAPPY Women’s History Month and Happy International Women’s Day! Celebrations and commemorations are abounding the world over, especially today.

One of the main events was the Million Woman March in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Alas, misguided men – some of whom participated in the revolts against former President Hosni Mubarak – decided to beat up and grope the ladies. “Down with women,” offenders reportedly chanted as they went about their misdeeds.

Events in Egypt, plus many others – including education and economic empowerment in various forms – affecting the women of the world will be on the mind and tongues of those attending and participating in the second Women in the World Stories and Solutions summit.

The Hudson Theatre at Millennium Broadway
will be the vortex of some of the greatest concentration of woman power in the world Thursday through Saturday (10-12 March).

Last year’s summit was such a hit that host Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and – most recently – Newsweek, has decided to re-up. Her co-hosts include Diane von Furstenberg and Meryl Streep.

Wajeha H. Al-Huwaider

Other high-profile women participating in the summit include three presidential cabinet types: Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine K. Albright, as well as influential women from many other fields. Some are more well-known than others, but all are doing important work toward the advancement of women and are descending on Gotham to celebrate achievements and discuss challenges ahead.

Saudi Arabian journalist/activist Wajeha H. Al-Huwaider participates in the first panel of the summit, “Firebrands: Pioneers in the New Age Dissent.” Moderator Christiane Amanpour guides the discussion around creative forms of protest and the future of women in the Middle East in light of events in North Africa. Later in the evening Charlie Rose interviews Melinda Gates, wife of Bill. Over dinner, TB interviews Bill Clinton, husband of Hillary.

Yem Chhuon

An ugly subject, graphic images included, is “Stealing Beauty.” It opens Day 2 of the summit. Under discussion will be acid attacks on women and their root causes and antidotes, i.e., regulating the availability to the substance and stiff justice for those afflicted. Panelist and acid attack survivor Yem Chhuon will no doubt provide useful insights.

On a happier note at mid-day, Phelicia Dell, designer and CEO/VeVe Collections and others will disclose how mentors helped them grow their business from small to medium in “Making a ‘Must Have’ Market.”

Phelicia Dell

Not surprisingly, with attendees including former presidents, current and former secretaries of state, billionaire CEOs and other high-wattage types, the summit is invitation-only. But those not holding an invite can watch the livestream of the summit at http://www.thedailybeast.com/.

One of the most gratifying stories of the three days has to be Friday’s “A heroine for our Times: Dr. Hawa Abdi.” The enterprising physician started a health clinic on her family farm in Somalia. It is considered an oasis of peace.

Dr. Hawa Abdi

On Saturday, the stories of women in the so-called Democratic Republic of Congo are told through words and pictures in “If You Knew Me, You Would Care.” Also on the agenda and under scrutiny is the French ban of the nigab and Europe’s cultural tolerance (or lack thereof) in “The Multiculturalism Debate: Is Europe Stigmatizing the Veil?”

Before TB’s closing remarks is “Presenting 10 X 10: 10 Girls. 10 Countries. 10 Writers. 10 Compelling Stories.” The international action campaign, “10x10,” focuses attention on the importance of educating/empowering adolescent girls in the developing world as a way to break the cycle of poverty. The overview comes with action plans

Visit http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsmaker/women-in-the-world/ to learn more about the summit.

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