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Trailblazing in Tunisia

Article by Charity Wallace March 10, 2014 //   3 minute read

Last night, the 2014 class of Women’s Initiative Fellows visited the National Cowgirl Museum and learned that each of them possesses the Cowgirl Spirit.  Like the cowgirls in America, the Tunisian Fellows are brave, trailblazing pioneers who are determined to improve their country and lead it toward a better future.

Pat Riley, the Executive Director of the Cowgirl Museum, shares her perspective of the visit below:

The visit from the 2014 Women’s Initiative Fellows was the highlight of our year here at the National Cowgirl Museum.  As with the two groups we had the honor of hosting from Egypt, we once again were reminded by these remarkable women from Tunisia that the “cowgirl spirit” is not defined by geography but by the strength, determination, and courage shared by women worldwide. 

At the National Cowgirl Museum, our mission is to honor and document the lives of women who have made extraordinary contributions to the American West.  The accomplishments of these women are as varied and vast as the Western landscape.  They include ranchers and rodeo performers, artists, writers, scientists, doctors, trailblazers, and a Supreme Court Justice.  People will most readily identify Sandra Day O’Connor as the first female appointed to the Supreme Court. But, she is a true cowgirl and her early life growing up on the Lazy B Ranch in Arizona provided a solid foundation for her life’s later opportunities. 

No matter what the occupation or accomplishments, the women represented in the Museum are united by a strong drive to do what has to get done - whatever the challenge or adversity.  These are not women who choose the easy path.  After visiting with the 17 amazing Tunisian Fellows, I would have no problem writing the same statement about them.

So to our new Tunisian friends, as you begin your exciting Fellowship adventure over these next few weeks, remember each of you has that cowgirl spirit.  Thank you for inspiring us with your courage and willingness to do what has to get done to make the world a better place...no matter what the geography.

And don’t forget, you now have a special super power…you can yodel!


Follow the fellows throughout their journey here.