Over three days in early March 2012, women gathered for the third annual Women in the World summit held in Lincoln Center, New York and sponsored by The Daily Beast. The theme of this year’s event was “Fearless Women Taking on the World” and included talks by such notable women as Hilary Clinton, Leymah Gbowee, Madeleine Albright, Christine Lagarde, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie, Nancy Pelosi, Gloria Steinem, and Sheryl Sandberg.
According to Katie Baker, writing for The Daily Beast, “the summit produced a weekend of unforgettable discussions and deep connections between women of different generations and backgrounds, all bound by the conviction that “women’s rights are human rights” and that women have a moral obligation to work on each other’s behalf. “
Leymah Gbowee spoke of her struggle to help bring about an end to civil war that had plagued her country, Liberia, for years under the brutal rule of Charles Taylor. She recognized that if she wanted to see an end to brutality it would need to happen through the collective action of motivated women who did not stand on the sidelines but rather joined forces, linking arms and becoming a force of women united, “We have to be our own Gandhis. We have to be our own Kings. We have to be our own Mandelas” said Gbowee.
Topics covered at the conference included women making a difference in industry, through mentorship and political action. Women spoke of abuse and hardship, and the devastation of being sold into prostitution or abandonment by family. Richard Robbins, director of the documentary 10x10, discussed his film that tells the story of one former domestic slave, 16-year-old Suma Tharu, whose life was transformed by the opportunity to go to school. Baker stated that “The importance of education was a recurring theme throughout the conference.”
The women who gathered for this conference emphasized the importance of unity and mentoring to help bring about an end to ignorance and to improve conditions for women, and all people around the globe. Hilary Clinton urged women in the audience to be “fearless…committed...and audacious” as the summit’s many panelists, and to embrace the true definition of being a “woman in the world: It means never giving up—on yourself, your potential, your future. It means getting up, working hard, and putting a country or a community on your back.” For the complete story please visit: