On our stage

The Woman I’m Here For

Powerful first-person accounts of inspiring women

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(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for American Express)

“The Woman I’m Here For” is a powerful component of the Women in the World salons and summits. For those who have yet to experience “The Woman I’m Here For,” the program gives our co-hosts a chance to read a brief, first-person account of an inspiring woman that they would like to “give voice” to on stage.

Our summit production team assembles these moving tales by collecting first-person narratives and photos of women the co-hosts would like to recognize and celebrate. The women who have been honored in the past include tenacious journalists, missing human rights lawyers, purposeful entrepreneurs, and tireless activists. By reading these personal narratives beneath a spotlight in a darkened theater, our co-hosts amplify their stories and create a meaningful and intimate shared moment with the audience.

To experience it for yourself, watch some “Woman I’m Here For” moments below. And scroll to the bottom to see how you can contribute.

1.) Anjelica Huston, actress, is here for Phionah Musumba

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“I watched my son die for lack of money to pay for his medication.  I fed my daughter stones for lack of food.”

2.) Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of U.N. Women, is here for Sister Angelique Namaika.

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“We were in the bush, we only had one plastic sheet, and we were more than 20 people.”

3.) Diane von Furstenberg, Founder and Co-Chairman of DVF Studio LLC, is here for Fardusa Muse.

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“Where I was raised, inequality is compounded by a lack of social amenities, poor education, and a preference for boys.”

4.) Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and Chair of Emerson Collective, is here for Cynthia Orellana.

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“I had two cultures, two languages, and low income realities that made a lot of opportunities seem distant.”

5.) Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, CEO of SOC Films, is here for Kanait Soomro.

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“I was kidnapped and then gangraped by four men. They said they wanted to declare me an outlaw, then they warned my brother and father that they would kill me. This is what happens in Pakistan.”

6.) Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, is here for Tep Vanny.

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“They sold the land beneath our homes and we were expected to disappear without a sound.”

7.) Maya L. Harris, Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School and Senior Fellow at Center for American Progress, is here for Stephanie Nodd.

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“I prayed I would not serve time because of my clean record and limited involvement. I could not have been more wrong.”

Now, it’s your turn to lend your voice. Who is the woman you’re here for? Complete the form below, or use the #ImHereFor to share the name of the person who inspires you.

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