By Blair James
International Women’s Day brought about many events that recognized women from all backgrounds. During the Women’s Democracy Network (WDN) Conference, held February 27th-March 3, 2017, the annual Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Luncheon featured elected women leaders from around the world.
At the awards luncheon, this year’s honorees included Greta Van Susteren, a veteran journalist. As she accepted her award for leadership from WDN; she encouraged women to “set an example for one another.” The luncheon included a discussion with Van Susteren and former White House aide and Diplomatic Courier advisory board member Anita McBride. Dr. Isatou Touray, the first woman to run for president in Gambia was also honored.
Dr. Touray has set an example for many women around the world. She has shown women they can do anything they put their minds to. Van Susteren praised her: “When I see someone like Dr. Touray, I’m inspired to do more. She inspires us to be better, to do more for our country.”
In response, Dr. Touray referenced WDN’s campaign, “She Speaks. She Votes. She Leads. We Are All Heard,” by sharing her experience as the Gambian leader. Dr. Touray stated, “I’m proud of what the men and women of the democratic opposition were able to achieve: restoring democracy to The Gambia, and opening doors for women to increase their participation in Gambian politics.”
The Women’s Democracy Network WDN is a global initiative of the International Republican Institute (IRI) that empowers women to fully participate in public life. At the event, IRI’s President Mark Green said, “A basic principle of WDN is that women can contribute to democracy in many different ways.” Our own Editor-in-Chief, Ana C. Rold, is a member of the Women’s Council at WDN. In 2015, WDN and Diplomatic Courier co-hosted a one-of-a-kind Global Women’s Summit, bringing together elected women leaders from around the U.S. and the world to discuss women’s political and economic empowerment.
About the honorees
Dr. Touray was recently appointed Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment. She also steered the fight against discrimination, forced marriages, and female genital mutilation as the Executive Director of the Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children.
Forbes recently named Greta Van Susteren one of the world’s 100 most powerful women for the sixth consecutive year. She spent the past 25 years covering breaking news for news outlets such as CNN and Fox News before uniting with MSNBC this year. Before being known in the world of cable news, she was a successful attorney and “rose to prominence as a legal analyst during the O.J. Simpson trial.” Van Susteren has reported from many countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, North Korea, and Sudan. Lastly, she has interviewed many world leaders throughout her career.
To learn more about WDN visit: http://wdn.orgTop