The Peace Through Business program is an initiative of The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW), a non-profit group inspiring women in the United States and abroad to pursue greater entrepreneurial roles, to grow their businesses and start new ventures, and become more active public policy advocates. Through its program, the IEEW recently hosted twenty-five women from Afghanistan and Rwanda here in the United States to receive high-level business and leadership training on topics such as accounting, finance, economics, digital marketing, and the importance of women’s involvement in politics.
On July 24, 2012, we had the opportunity to accompany FCC International Bureau Chief, Mindel De La Torre to the graduation ceremony for these women and the experience was compelling.
Speakers at the graduation ceremony included Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues; Terry Neese, Founder and CEO of IEEW; and the Honorable Eklil Hakimi, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Verveer spoke of the difficulties that Rwanda and Afghanistan have faced after years of war and highlighted the progress each nation has made in women’s rights and economic and political development.
Today in Afghanistan, over 25% of Parliamentarians and 10% of judges are women. In Rwanda, women from different political and social parties came together to integrate their efforts and contributed to the prevention of further conflict after the genocide in 1994. Today, 56% of Rwandan Parliamentarians are women.
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