2015 summit

The countdown is over! The 6th annual Women in the World Summit is on right now

It’s all happening on our stage in New York City and here’s everything you need to know

Women in the World
Clockwise from top left: Ava DuVernay (credit: Brigette Lacombe), Pelenise Alofa, Meryl Streep (credit: Brigette Lacombe), Odede Kennedy, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hannah Song, Tavi Gevinson, Helen Mirren (credit: Trevor Leighton), Robin Wright (credit: Steven Gomillion and Dennis Leupold), Barbara Streisand, Jon Stewart, Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe (credit: Derek Watson)

Fresh off the news of her presidential bid, Hillary Clinton will speak at the sixth annual Women in the World summit in New York City this week, joining a fascinating array of newsmakers, trailblazers, rebels, artists, and crime fighters—women saving girls from jihad, battling online trolls, forging unprecedented ties across the conflict in the Mideast.

The event, which will take place at Lincoln Center April 22 to 24, will also be live-streamed here. Joining Tina Brown as hosts are Shobhana Bhartia, Jennifer Bremner, Abigail Disney, Angélica Fuentes, Diane von Furstenberg, Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, Jack Hollis, Donna Langley, Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, Freida Pinto, and Judith Rodin. You can see the full summit lineup here.

Among the powerhouse voices to engage in live journalistic storytelling at the event, Jon Stewart will talk with Meryl Streep and other top women in film—director Ava DuVernay and filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy—about tackling hot-button issues through the female lens. Ambassador Samantha Power will join Robin Wright to shine a light on the endemic violence, poverty, and corruption in Africa and the urgent need for individuals and nations to take action. Barbra Streisand will address the number-one killer of women—heart disease.

Two extraordinary mothers—one Israeli and one Palestinian—will describe how they are transforming personal tragedy into reconciliation and forgiveness. Israeli Robi Damelin and Palestinian Bushra Awad both lost sons to the Mideast conflict. When the women met through the Parents Circle Families Forum, a group for Palestinian and Israeli families that have lost loved ones, their initial interaction was hostile. “When I first met Robi, I couldn’t look her in the face because she was a Jew,” Awad recently told Women in the World. But after the women shared photos and memories of their sons, she realized, “I had lots in common with her. She’s not responsible for my son’s death.” Now the two travel together, speaking at Israeli and Palestinian schools and running seminars for adults. In another examination of the tragedies of extremism, Vian Dakheel Saeed, an Iraqi member of Parliament who is the most-wanted woman by ISIS, will describe the hell of refugee women in the camps surrounding Mount Sinjar.

Among other changemakers, Indian movie star Aamir Khan will speak with Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International, about cultural taboos that he tackles on his wildly popular television show, Satyamev Jayate, or “Truth Alone Triumphs.” Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Obama and chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, will talk to top advocates about the tough challenge women face in caring for children and aging parents in the American workplace. Freida Pinto will introduce Leslee Udwin, director and producer of the documentary film India’s Daughter, and other activists who will shed light on sexual violence in India.

With more than 100 colleges and universities under federal investigation for how they handle charges of sexual assault, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will join Jon Krakauer, author of Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, and other experts to talk about whether kids are safe on campus. Rape is this country’s “most underreported serious crime by a wide margin,” Krakauer recently wrote in an article for Women in the World. “Rigorous studies consistently indicate that at least 80 percent of rapes are never disclosed to law-enforcement agencies or other authorities.”

Edit Schlaffer, the founder of Sisters Against Violent Extremism, will discuss the secret women she deploys to prevent girls from joining jihad—mothers. She runs training groups in high-risk areas across the world to help mothers prevent their sons and daughters from becoming radicalized. Daughters are in demand, with ISIS “attracting and extracting women from Western territories in growing numbers,” she recently told Women in the World. “This is a big triumph for them.” She and other experts will discuss why girls would want to join men who behead and burn people alive—and the fate that awaits the girls when they do.

Teen phenomenon Tavi Gevinson, editor of Rookie, the popular website for teenage girls, will talk fashion and feminism with writer and MSNBC host Janet Mock. Legendary actress Helen Mirren, now nabbing knockout reviews on Broadway in The Audience, will discuss her role as an English queen. Homeless teen turned Academy Award star Inocente Izucar will talk about homeless kids and undocumented immigrants in America.

Kennedy Odede will describe his childhood in a sprawling urban slum in Africa and how he made it to college in America and launched Shining Hope for Communities and two girls’ schools to lift people from poverty. Pelenise Alofa, a force in the global fight to stop climate change, will talk about how to stop our world from disappearing. Hannah Song, president and CEO of Liberty in North Korea, will describe her important work helping North Korean refugees reach freedom. Yeonmi Park, a 21-year-old defector, will recount her tale of trekking through the Gobi Desert to escape the reclusive nation. Ashley Judd will spotlight the legal war against online harassment and abuse.

A year after hundreds of teenage girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria, Obiageli Ezekwesili, cofounder of Bring Back Our Girls, will talk about the missing girls and what needs to be done. Named as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people this year, she told Women in the World recently that the Nigerian government didn’t act fast enough in the wake of the abduction. There was a sense among some officials that the kidnapping was “a staged incident to destabilize the government,” she said. “The basic mindset was that there was something unbelievable about the abduction.” While the government fumbled, she said, the social-media campaign took off.

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, a renowned Catholic nun in Uganda, will discuss her work helping girls who were held captive by warlord Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. Named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in 2014, she is the director of Saint Monica Girls’ Tailoring Centre, where she teaches job skills to young women who were abducted, raped, and tortured. And young Indian activist Sanchaita Gajapati Raju will explain how she is making life better for women in India by tapping the power of the sun.

That’s just a partial list of the array of trailblazers at this year’s summit. To purchase tickets for the event, click herePresenting sponsors for the event are Dove, Merck, and Toyota. Leadership sponsors are Flextronics, Lands’ End, and MasterCard. Supporting sponsors are Ford Foundation, Thomson Reuters, and Walmart.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *