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3 Leaders Inspiring Us on International Day of the Girl
"When women everywhere have access to education, better health care, and growing opportunities, every boy and every girl will know that they have a bright future." - Mrs. Laura Bush
In celebrating International Day of the Girl, here’s a look at three women leaders who have inspired us across our program work, moving the needle forward for girls across the globe:
Education champion Razia Jan is the founder of the Zabuli Education Center in Afghanistan. Providing free access to K-12 schooling to girls in Deh’Subz, Razia stands as an enduring advocate for the power of education to bring “positive, peaceful change for current and future generations”. Despite challenges, including threats from the Taliban, for over eight years Razia’s school has thrived, welcoming over 550 students to date. Sharing her story in We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope, Razia Jan, and other courageous women like her, are helping to forge a new path for their country: http://www.bushcenter.org/publications/books/we-are-afghan-women-voices-of-hope.html
H.E. Monica Geingos
Leveraging her unique podium as First Lady of the Republic of Namibia and her notable experience in business, Mrs. Monica Geingos is working to build a “conduit for transformation” for marginalized populations in her country. Her efforts include a strong focus on youth empowerment, utilizing entrepreneurial, education, and health-focused programming to forge a path out of poverty for Namibia’s next generation. Recognized as a champion for young women and girls globally, Mrs. Geingos was recently appointed as a UNAIDS Special Advocate, in support of “the newly launched Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free agenda.” Mrs. Geingos joined the First Ladies Initiative at the 2016 Concordia panel. Learn more:
Co-founder and board chair of Girl Rising, Holly Gordon is committed to driving sustainable change for girls around the world. With 62 million girls worldwide without access to quality education, Girl Rising aims to “inspire action to get girls into classrooms worldwide” through the positive power of story-telling. A past mentor to the Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative Fellowship and a 2015 Presidential Leadership Scholar, Holly talks more about her work to improve the lives of girls across the globe in this interview: http://www.bushcenter.org/publications/articles/2015/03/the-bush-institute-talks-with-holly-gordon-about-empowering-women.html
For more information about the Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative programming, please visit the following program pages:
Natalie Gonnella-Platts serves as the Deputy Director of the Women's Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. In this role, Natalie is responsible for research and programmatic efforts that empower women worldwide to lead in their communities and countries. The portfolio currently includes the First Ladies Initiative, the Afghan Women’s Project, and the Women’s Initiative Fellowship. Natalie leads the work of the First Ladies Initiative, which aims to enable and support First Ladies from around the world in effectively using their platforms to empower women and children in their countries.
Natalie studied Communications and International Studies (Peace and Conflict) at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia. She earned an MA in War, Violence and Security studies from the University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom. Prior to joining the Bush Institute, she held roles in New York City at American International Group (AIG), and in London at ConservativeHome USA, the Legatum Institute, and BBC Worldwide. She is also a co-founder of Each Inc., a non-profit that seeks to provide innovative technology tools to organizations that care for and protect orphans and vulnerable children globally, and has previously served as a project strategy advisor to Stop the Traffik’s Finance Against Trafficking initiative.Full Bio
Q&A with Dr. Nilofar Ibrahimi, Member of Parliament, Afghanistan
Dr. Nilofar Ibrahimi is a member of the national assembly of Afghanistan. She represents Badakhshan province in the Wolesi Jirga (house of representatives). Her story is one of survival, pursuit of dreams, and dedication to women’s well-being and health. Here, Dr. Ibrahimi shares her thoughts on the current state of Afghan women’s empowerment, the challenges women face in achieving equal rights, and the impact women have on the country’s long-term peace, security, and prosperity.
Global Leadership: A Look Back At 2017
As we celebrate 2017, we reflect on some of the top moments from the Bush Institute's Global Leadership Impact Center, home to the Human Freedom initiative, Women's Initiative, and Global Health initiative.
In Case You Missed It: The Breadwinner, an animated film about the strength and resilience of Afghan women and girls, premieres in the U.S.
The Breadwinner, a new animated film from executive producer Angelina Jolie, tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, Parvana disguises herself as a boy in order to support her family. With dauntless perseverance, Parvana draws strength from the stories her father told her, and ultimately risks her life to discover if he is still alive. The Breadwinner is an inspiring reminder of the power of stories, and their potential to unite and heal us all. It also provides an important spotlight on the struggle endured by Afghan families during the Taliban regime and the resilience of women and girls and their influence in building a brighter future for Afghanistan. Last year, the Bush Institute released We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope, which spotlights more of these courageous stories of Afghan women. Learn more about the book and our work by visiting:&nb