The Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards honor and celebrate women leaders around the world who are the unsung heroines working to strengthen democracy, increase economic opportunity, and protect human rights. Every year since 2002, we have gathered at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to recognize women who are social entrepreneurs, political representatives, businesswomen, human rights defenders and civil society advocates.
|HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD
Liberian nurse who provides shelter and services to former child soldiers and survivors of gender based violence
|LEADERSHIP IN PUBLIC LIFE AWARD
RUTH ZAVALETA SALGADO
Mexican politician and former speaker of the house of representatives who exposed widespread corruption within her own party
|ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AWARD
ADIMAIMALAGA (ADI) TAFUNA’I
Samoan businesswoman who is innovating rural economic systems to produce local goods and stimulate trade in isolated communities throughout the Pacific region
|FERN HOLLAND AWARD
SAMAR MINALLAH KHAN
Documentarian working in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier to produce films about women’s rights and child marriage
GLOBAL TRAILBLAZER AWARD:
Women Transforming the Middle East and North Africa
Coptic Egyptian who leads interfaith dialogue, trains women to run for office and has inserted herself into the drafting of the constitution to lobby for the inclusion of women’s rights
Tunisian blogger and fierce anti-censorship activist who has created the first NGO to monitor parliament and report on human rights abuses
Saudi woman who defied a cultural norm and was imprisoned after deciding to film herself driving, she is leading a national campaign for women’s right to drive
One of two Libyan women in the NTC, she resigned from the council because she felt women’s presence was nominal and now works outside the system to mobilize women candidates for this summer’s election
Journalist who reported on human rights for the Yemen Times and other outlets gained national attention as a social media influencer
They are the women we invest in; theirs is the leadership that improves our world.
On June 6, at the Opera House of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of the very first Vital Voices conference held in Vienna, Austria. This conference spearheaded the Vital Voices Democracy Initiative and led to the inception of Vital Voices Global Partnership.