The Power of Women in Conflict
Please join us as we gather in person for the first time in two years for the 2022 Annual Luncheon!
Soledad O’Brien, Award-Winning Journalist, Documentarian, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist
IN CONVERSATION WITH:
Ambassador Roya Rahmani, former Afghan Ambassador to the U.S.
Seida Saric, Director, Žene za Žene International
Rachel Boketa, Country Director for WfWI – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
We invite you to learn how women are deeply affected in conflict regions around the world and how you can invest in our Conflict Response Fund (CRF) to help women realize their power. Through credible partners on the ground, combined with our decades of experience using a woman-centered holistic approach, we are supporting women survivors in Syria, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and now most recently those impacted by Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.
Conflict and war deepen the injustice women face. In conversation with an expert panel, you will hear how women in conflict are using their power to transform their world.
Proceeds from the luncheon will go toward providing urgent support to women in conflict-affected regions around the world like Afghanistan and other countries we work in, including responding to the war in Ukraine.
*For the safety of our guests, Women for Women International will require all guests to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 antigen test, taken within 24 hours prior to the event. You will be requested to show this at registration. We will accept your physical vaccination card, a photograph of your vaccination card, or a digital vaccination record. Antigen tests and masks will also be available on site.
Award-Winning Journalist, Documentarian, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist
Soledad O'Brien is the CEO of Soledad O'Brien Productions as well as a journalist, documentarian, and philanthropist. Her latest project, "Black and Missing" is a docuseries highlighting the work of Derrica Wilson and Natalie Wilson who run the Black and Missing Foundation to help find large numbers of persons of color who go missing in the US. The docuseries just won an Independent Spirit Award and an NAACP Award and is currently streaming on HBO Max.
Ambassador Roya Rahmani
Former Afghan Ambassador to the U.S.
Roya Rahmani is a former Afghan diplomat with nearly 2 decades of experience working with governments, NGOs, and multilaterals. She is the first woman to serve as Afghan ambassador to the United States of America, first Afghan woman ambassador to Indonesia, and founder of the Director General for Regional Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. She has a track record in conceptualizing, developing and leading initiatives and programs. In 2007 she received the Best Human Rights Activist Award by Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission. In 2017 Indonesia Tatler named her the People’s Ambassador, and in 2019 she was featured on TIME Magazine’s “100 Next List” as a “fierce advocate of peace on Afghan terms.” She has a bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering from McGill University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University. She is currently serving as the Distinguished Fellow at the Georgetown Institute for Women Peace and Security, a Senior Advisor to the Atlantic Council, a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation and as the Global Strategist at Equality Now. She is the mother of a young daughter and a passionate believer in the importance of fostering innovation for progress and promoting equality and inclusivity for sustainable peace.
Country Director for WfWI - Democratic Republic of Congo
Rachel Boketa serves as the Country Director for Women for Women International – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where she manages programs that have served more than 103,000 women since 2004. She joined Women for Women International in 2021 with 21 years of experience in the development and humanitarian sector. In the past 15 years, she has focused on promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, working with UNICEF, USAID, UN Women, and Sida. Rachel holds a master’s degree in development studies from the Catholic University of the Congo (Kinshasa/DRC).
Director - Žene za Žene International
Seida Saric is the Director of Žene za Žene International, our sister affiliate in Bosnia and Her zegovina. She ser ved as the fir st Country Director for Women for Women International and is currently leading our emergency response supporting women refugees in the Ukraine war. For more than four years, Seida lived under siege in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war, risking her life on a daily basis to provide emergency ser vices to her fellow citizens trapped in the city. Under Ms. Saric’s leadership, Women for Women International developed its yearlong program to provide women vocational and business skills training, rights awareness, health education, and emotional and financial support.She also pioneered a successful microcredit program that provided loans to nearly 30,000 women totaling more than USD $55 million.
Meghan Kabir is an Afghan American multi-platinum singer and songwriter from Nashville, TN who splits her time between Nashville and Los Angeles. Meghan has written songs for some of pop music’s biggest names and been a part of over 10 Billboard chart topping records. When she’s not in the studio, Meghan can be found traveling the world where she draws much inspiration. She also finds creativity and expression through cooking, fashion, jewelry making, and interiors and has a love for yoga and wellness. Meghan is extremely proud of her Afghan heritage. She first gained fame among Afghans with her Farsi release of “Tu Ba Mani.” While she has long been an advocate for Afghanistan, after the fall of Kabul in August 2021 she felt an even deeper calling to use her voice. From continuing to write music for the music business’s top artists to fighting for peace in Afghanistan through her music and advocacy, we can expect great things from Meghan.