ICYMI: Hope Beyond the Headlines Season One

When women come together, we create hope. In response to COVID-19 forcing us all apart, we invited women and allies from our global community for an online discussion series to discuss global challenges facing women and what it takes to overcome them.  

Here’s a quick look at what hope for the future of women looks like:  

We spoke with women leaders from different sectors and members of Women for Women International’s global community in the first season of Hope Beyond the Headlines. As we get ready for the second season, we invite you to revisit these in-depth discussions to inspire you during these complicated times.  

Ambassador Samantha Power 

During a global pandemic, lessons about leadership during international crises are powerful to reflect upon. Women for Women International CEO Laurie Adams joins former Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power to discuss these lessons and the impact of supporting women’s leadership on a global scale.  

Zinhle Essamuah 

Crisis doesn’t obscure inequities; it widens the gap. NowThis correspondent Zinhle Essamuah joined us to talk about how structural inequality makes some people more vulnerable during coronavirus and the importance of journalism during crisis.  

Buki Onyishi 

Bukola “Buki” Onyishi gave us insight on the challenges facing women in Nigeria as Country Director of Women for Women International-Nigeria. Like many places around the world, Nigeria has seen a rise in violence against women and girls, a “shadow pandemic” alongside the viral one.  

Emma Grede 

Emma Grede juggles being a CEO of denim company Good American with being a board member of Women for Women International. She spoke about leadership during the economic impacts of global crises and how to care for yourself in difficult times.  

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka 

As director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka brought another global perspective to women’s issues around the world. Having lived through apartheid in South Africa, Phumzile shared insights on the intersection of gender discrimination and structural racism as this year reignites the call for racial justice.  

Clemence Bideri 

Economic Empowerment Manager at Women for Women International-Rwanda, Clemence Bideri, shared early insight into how the pandemic affected women in Rwanda. The discussion highlighted the impact of innovations such as mobile money transfers to support women during lockdowns and social distancing, as well as forming women’s networks for resilience.  

Aram Shakerm  

Country Director of Women for Women International’s Iraq office, Aram Shakerm updated us on the situation for women living in Iraq and their needs during the pandemic. Aram also shared his thoughts on how men can support gender equality as a father of daughters.  

Zainab Salbi 

Founder of Women for Women International, Zainab Salbi is no stranger to the strength of women’s spirits. She emphasized lessons on “trusting in life,” and testified to the impact of investing in women’s resilience during times of crisis, be it conflict, COVID, poverty, and more.  

Claude Muhizi 

Two members of our Monitoring, Evaluation, Research & Learning (MERL) team joined to discuss the impact of Women for Women International’s program on women’s health and safety: Claude Muhizi, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager in Rwanda, and Sabreen Alikhan, Director of MERL. They also discussed the work women do to protect their communities, not just themselves, such as the large-scale mask-making effort at the Women’s Opportunity Center in Rwanda.  

Alison Pill 

Award-winning actor Alison Pill joined us for a discussion on advancing positive change by breaking it into down into what’s possible and how to hold difficult conversations about what’s happening with the people around you, whether it’s with your children or your church group.  

Lindsi Lane 

Entrepreneur and digital influencer Lindsi Lane shared the challenges of new motherhood during a pandemic and the importance of staying positive. Part of that positivity? Being connected with a supportive, global community.  

Stay tuned for the next season of Hope Beyond the Headlines by subscribing to our Instagram @womenforwomen!