Women play a vital role in the success and prosperity of every nation, yet in many parts of the world women and girls are illiterate and denied basic human rights.

Improving the lives of women and girls with education and economic opportunity provides the fastest way to growing a nation’s economy, raising living standards, and promoting peace.  The Women’s Initiative at the Bush Institute works within the Institute’s areas of policy engagement to improve access to education, health care, and economic opportunity for women and children.  In addition, the Initiative has its own programs and projects.

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In Afghanistan’s choosing of a new president, a whiff of hope emerged for the country’s long-suffering women. Results are due May 14, when one of the five serious contenders is expected to win, ending the 12-year presidency of Hamid Karzai, who is bound by the constitution to step down.

On Tuesday, the 2014 Women’s Initiative Fellows returned to Tunisia after five productive, thought-provoking and stimulating weeks in the United States. The Fellows visited compelling civil society organizations, leading companies, received inspiring advice from women leaders and partnered with their mentors to develop an action plan.

“When I was younger, I just used to look for pictures of Silicon Valley,” she said. “And I dreamed of being there one day, and that just wasn’t possible for me.” Nesrine's dream became reality last week.