03.14.10

Most Memorable Moments from the Women in the World Summit

Below, watch 11 great moments from the summit, including peace activist Leymah Gbowee urging Michelle Obama to meet with African first ladies, and Meryl Streep's conversation with Irish civil rights activist Inez McCormack.

The Daily Beast's Women in the World summit closed Sunday—an extraordinary three-day session in which some of the most powerful women on the planet met to discuss global challenges and propose solutions, in a stirring call to arms. Below, watch moments from the summit, including peace activist Leymah Gbowee urging Michelle Obama to meet with African first ladies, Meryl Streep speaking with real-life heroine, Irish civil rights activist Inez McCormack, and Diane Sawyer's emotional conversation with Marietou Diarra and Molly Melching.

Plus:
• Activists gather at the summit.
• Take action! Find out how to help with our solutions Cheat Sheet.
• Check out photo highlights from the weekend.
• Click here for The Daily Beast's full coverage of Women in the World
• Stay engaged to Women in the World on Twitter and Facebook

Christine Lagarde: Never Imitate the Boys!

In a candid and entertaining conversation between French Minister of Economy Christine Lagarde and Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times, Lagarde had some very straightforward advice for any woman who might seek to follow in her shoes by entering into the male-dominated world of finance: "Never imitate the boys," she said. "Don't assume that you're going to be better heard because you shout louder, because you use slang, and behave like the boys around the table. Just be yourself. We have plenty of energy, confidence, and technical expertise to fit the bill and to hold the position without having to necessarily comply with the model that has been set by other people."

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Kiran Bedi: How I Got Control of a Prison

Kiran Bedi, India’s first and highest-ranking female police officer, talks about how it wasn't physical strength the enabled her to take control of Tihar Prison. It was a simple question that threw the male population off guard: Do you pray?

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Clinton Kicks off SEVEN

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton kicked off the reading of SEVEN with an impassioned speech listing the numerous accomplishments of the inspiring women whose stories were dramatized in the play. SEVEN is a product of the Vital Voices Global Partnership and was written in the wake of the 1995 women's conference in Beijing, when Clinton herself famously declared "women's rights are human rights, human rights are women's rights."

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Chinese Author Anchee Minn Errupts Into Song

In a great moment of levity on Saturday, world-renowned author Anchee Min (Red Azalea and Pearl of China) brought down the house with a short but powerful performance of traditional Chinese opera recalled from her childhood. "I'm not supposed to sing to you because I'm out of practice, but I think to myself, 'What the hell, they don't understand anyway,'" Min joked.

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Michelle Obama, African First Ladies to Join Forces?

The wheels of change are already in motion: In a memorable moment Saturday, Leymah Gbowee—a human-rights activist and leader in Liberia—suggested a novel approach to combating rape and other women's issues in Africa: Michelle Obama should invite 10 first ladies of Africa to the White House to join forces. By Sunday, Jarrett said she had already acted on the idea, telling Sir Harold Evans during a Q&A session that she had emailed Michelle Obama's chief of staff from her BlackBerry during the event.

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The Photo That Could Save A Woman's Life

One of Friday night's most moving moments came when Mu Sochua, a member of the Cambodian parliament portrayed in SEVEN, spoke of how her fight for political freedom was intensifying back home. When Hillary Clinton was first lady, she'd taken a photo with Sochua at her request, as a gesture to show the US was paying attention and support her efforts. Now, Sochua said, she faces the prospect of jail time soon. "Secretary Clinton," she said, "may I take another picture with you?"

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Message for Michelle Obama: Please Help Africa

At the Women in the World conference on Saturday, women's rights activist Leymah Gbowee had a novel idea for addressing the scourge of rape and other women's issues. Speaking at the Rape as a Weapon of War panel, the executive director of the Women Peace & Security Network Africa suggested that first lady Michelle Obama call a meeting of African first ladies—who would "come running" at her suggestion.

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Chinese Literary Star Anchee Min: Why I Didn't Want a Daughter

Anchee Min, a world-renowned novelist, was born in Shanghai. When she gave birth to her daughter, she says she cried. "I wanted a boy," she says. "Who wants to be a girl in China?" It's a question that millions of women in China ask themselves: Because of the one-child policy, selective abortions have led to 120 boys being born for every 100 women in China.

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So What's It Like to be Played by Meryl Streep?!

After watching herself being portrayed by Meryl Streep, Northern Ireland civil-rights leader Inez McCormack stood on stage with the actress and talked about the play SEVEN—and what it was like to see Streep in action. "She's better at me than I am," McCormack said.

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A Mother's Worst Nightmare: Diane Sawyer's Emotional Interview

Marietou Diarra, a Senegalese woman, spoke on a panel moderated by Diane Sawyer about what her society calls "the tradition." Speaking in her native language of Wolof, translated by human-rights activist Molly Melching, Diarra told her story: After a string of tragedies, her family and in-laws banded together to reject female genital-cutting; her entire village followed suit. She eventually helped to convince more than 40 neighboring villages to abandon the practice.

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A Queen on How Twitter Can Change the World

Social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are often seen as frivolous time-wasters at best, and lawless wastelands at worst. But speaking on Saturday, Rania Al-Abdullah, queen of Jordan, spoke highly of technology's ability to help in crises like the earthquake in Haiti and the revolution in Iran, saying, "We can make girls' voices and videos of their lives go viral. We can be their mouthpieces and take their message to the masses."

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Albright: Obama Would Have to Be Jesus

Speaking with Barbara Walters on Saturday, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had nothing but harsh words for the Bush administration's legacy, saying President Obama would have to be "a combination of Jesus Christ, the messiah, Buddha, Allah, all in one, in order to deal with the problems that he was left."

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Christiane Amanpour on Rape as a Weapon of War

In a harrowing panel discussion, Congolese human-rights activist Annie Rashidi-Mulumba said women in her country have suffered a "sexual massacre" and that the U.S. Embassy should pull out of the nation in order to pressure the government to stop the atrocities.

The Sex Slave Rescuer

How do you save someone who doesn't think they need saving? That's the quandary Sunitha Krishnan, a sex-slavery activist, discussed at Saturday's Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery panel. Krishnan spoke of the difficulty in distinguishing those who have willingly entered the sex industry from those who were forced into it, saying the women and children they go to rescue from sexually abusive situations are already so normalized to the exploitative practices that they often resist rescue.

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Afghan Activist: Don't Abandon Us, Obama

Farida Azizi, the Afghan activist, spoke briefly but emotionally on Friday night, thanking Secretary Clinton for her role in Azizi's survival and asking the U.S. not to abandon Afghanistan.

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Jarrett: Health-Care Vote in One Week!

Kicking off her interview with 60 Minutes' Lesley Stahl, Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to the president, enthusiastically announced that she's "very confident" health-care reform will pass within the week. "The time has come," Jarrett said. "I think the American people deserve an up or down vote, don't you?"

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Cherie Blair: Give These Women Phones

After lunch on Saturday, Cherie Blair, Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinski, and Ann Livermore of Hewlett-Packard talked about the liberating possibilities of technology.

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Nora Ephron: Hollywood Can't Save Us

March 14, 2010—Although she said "we can't look to Hollywood to save us," writer and director Nora Ephron did say during Sunday's Seize the Spotlight, Harness the Power! panel for the Women in the World summit that the denizens of Hollywood can harness their fame to help the world, crediting Paul Newman with helping to spur the outpouring of philanthropy from Los Angeles' brightest stars.

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The Woman Waging War On Domestic Violence In Russia

Marina Pisklakova-Parker, who was portrayed by Marcia Gay Harden in Vital Voices' play "Seven," discussed her work on domestic violence issues after the play's performance, including the value of persistence, and the challenges that still stand in the way of women's rights in Russia.

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