Women's lives around the world continue to be affected by deep-seated prejudices that create inequities and abuse. This reality robs the future of valuable assets. In this week, we will examine what action is needed to empower women to reach their full potential and, by that action, improve the entire social, economic, religious, and cultural context in which they live.
Chautauqua, according to the late, great Teddy Roosevelt, is "the most American thing in America." It's also the country's oldest ideas festival. Since its founding in 1874, Chautauqua has attracted the likes of Amelia Earhart, FDR and Susan B. Anthony. The rich tradition continues in 2011.
Speakers include New York Times contributor Stanley Fish, groundbreaking religious commentator Karen Armstrong, leading foreign policy analyst Robin Wright, noted historian Gordon Wood and several others. Take advantage of this exclusive offer from FORA.tv and the Chautauqua Institution, and join the discussion as these important thought leaders address the most pressing issues facing America and the world.
Hawa Abdi, M.D., operates a refugee hospital and camp serving nearly 100,000 people, primarily women and children, in war-ravaged Somalia, a country that most charities refuse to enter.
Abdi came to international prominence in May 2010 for standing up to hundreds of Islamist militants who tried to take control of her camp. When she and hundreds of women dared to protest the militants' occupation, the gunmen backed down, and even submitted to Abdi's demand for a written apology.
Abdi and her daughters, Deeqo Mohamed and Amina Mohamed, also doctors, were named three of Glamour's Women of the Year in 2010. "Their unwavering fortitude in the face of insurmountable obstacles is a testament to the warrior spirit of women," said Somalia-born cosmetics executive Iman. The Glamour piece called Abdi "equal parts Mother Teresa and Rambo."
Abdi and her daughters also operate the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation, which aims to ensure continued health care for Somali refugees and the people of East Africa. Abdi, whose camp began as a one-room clinic in 1983, holds degrees in gynecological medicine and law.
Kati Marton, an award-winning former NPR and ABC News correspondent, is the author of Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our History, a New York Times bestseller, as well as Wallenberg, The Polk Conspiracy, A Death in Jerusalem, and a novel, An American Woman.
Dr. Hawa Abdi, a Somali doctor who runs a hospital and refugee camp that cares for over 90,000 people, shares her hopefulness for women in the 21st century. "I think that women can change the world in a better way now," says Dr. Abdi. "If they have self-confidence and they know how powerful they are, they can do it."
Dr. Hawa Abdi expresses her distrust of the international
community in fighting the famine that is killing Somalis and explains how her
foundation is working to nourish those who are walking to Mogadishu to attain
"Sending money to UN agencies is not helping so much. Sending money to the government is not helping so much," says Dr. Abdi.