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The Journey Begins

by Charity Wallace March 7, 2013 3 minute Read

This week, the Women’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute is celebrating International Women’s Day and welcoming two classes of Women’s Initiative Fellows to Dallas. One hundred years ago, March 8 was chosen to observe International Women’s Day.  The day marks the progress women have made over the last century in education, political involvement, and the workplace; and it emphasizes the need to continue to strive for women’s equity around the world.


The Women’s Initiative will commemorate International Women’s Day with events to celebrate the accomplishments of the 2012 Fellows who are graduating from the yearlong program, and to launch the 2013 Women’s Initiative Fellowship.  Over the past year, the inaugural class of Women’s Initiative Fellows has experienced great success individually, and established a robust network of women to help build a stronger civil society for their country.  The women have developed leadership skills that they are passing along to other women in their personal networks, creating a multiplier effect.


The second class of nineteen Egyptian women who constitute the 2013 Women’s Initiative Fellowship represent six influential sectors of society, including business, education, health, law, media and politics.  They are about to begin their yearlong Fellowship which will equip them to become effective leaders. The Fellows will be paired with American mentors from their same profession who will provide guidance and support over the next year. The Fellows will also spend the next month in the U.S. learning new leadership skills. Upon their return to Egypt, these women will join forces with the 2012 Fellows to expand the network and improve the lives of women in their neighborhoods and across their country. 


The women who make up the Women’s Initiative Fellowship represent the progress of women, and the desire to expand women’s roles in every aspect of society.  Research shows that when women are educated and included in the economy, countries are more stable and prosperous.  By investing in the Fellows, we believe that Egypt will be the vibrant and thriving democracy its people had hoped for two years ago in Tahrir Square.


We invite you to learn more about these brave women and follow their journey on this blog over the next month and the next year.

This post was written by Charity Wallace, Director of the Women's Initiative at The George W. Bush Institute.

 


Author

Charity Wallace
Charity Wallace

Charity N. Wallace serves as the Senior Advisor to the Women's Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute and is in an executive graduate program in pursuit of a Global Master of Arts degree in international relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University. Most recently, Ms. Wallace served as the Vice President of the Global Women’s Initiatives and Senior Advisor to Mrs. Laura Bush. In this role, Ms. Wallace was responsible for setting the vision and managing the policy engagement for the women’s initiatives, including Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon global health initiative, empowering women in the Middle East and working with First Ladies from around the world. The Women's Initiative aims to improve access to education, health care, and economic opportunity for women and children in Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

From February 2009 through September 2010, Wallace served as the Chief of Staff to Mrs. Laura Bush.  Wallace oversaw Mrs. Bush’s initiatives - from her wide ranging policy agenda to her the publishing and promotion of Mrs. Bush’s bestselling book, Spoken from the Heart. Wallace served in the Bush Administration from January 2001 to January 2009.  During her tenure in the administration, she served as Deputy Chief of Protocol of the United States (2007-2009), Director of Advance for First Lady Laura Bush (2004-2007), and worked in public liaison positions in Presidential Advance, the U.S. Department of Education, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and USA Freedom Corps. During her tenure in the Bush Administration and in her current role, Wallace has traveled to 70 countries.

Ms. Wallace serves on the Board of Advisors for the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, the Advisory Board of ARZU Studio Hope, the Advisory Board of 4word Women and the Advisory Board of All In Together, an bi-partisan organization that promotes women’s engagement in political and civic life.  Ms. Wallace is an ex-officio member on the Human Freedom Advisory Council for the Bush Institute.  Ms. Wallace wrote the foreword for the book Work, Love, Pray, which was released in 2011. A native of California, Ms. Wallace graduated magna cum laude from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, with a focus in international relations. 

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