“Our organization commends all the women selected for People Magazine’s list. These women embody tremendous leadership and commitment to supporting equality efforts around the globe,” said Laurie Adams, President of Women for Women International.
Three of the twenty-five women have strong connections to Women for Women International. Our organization is especially proud to see Zainab Salbi, Oprah, and Sheryl Sandberg included in this year’s list. Their efforts and dedication to our international development work have been instrumental.
Following the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zainab Salbi founded our organization from her desire to give voice to women affected by conflict. In twenty-three years since Women for Women International started our first program in Europe, we have expanded our impact to vulnerable communities by providing social and economic support to nearly 447,000 women in eight countries across the Middle East and Africa.
Oprah herself is responsible for drawing thousands to take a closer look at this unique and special work. Women for Women International has been featured on several Oprah shows and each has created an “Oprah effect” which is directly responsible for much of our growth and ability to serve more and more women. Thank you, Oprah!
Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, is also a member of Women for Women International’s U.S. board. As a foundational pillar of Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ Movement, her mantra focuses on supporting other women’s success and providing opportunities for women’s voices to be heard in the home, communities, and beyond. As with Women for Women International’s work, our program engages marginalized women to teach key life-skills which enable them to connect socially and economically to their communities.