See our complete lineup of events for the third annual Women in the World Summit.
Held captive for 18 years, Dugard accepts a DVF Award, along with Oprah and others, and describes her future plans.
Jaycee Dugard spent 18 years locked up in the backyard of a pedophile, but that’s not what she wants to be known for, she said Friday night at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Amid the splashy surroundings of the DVF Awards—pink spotlights, scattered sofas, women clad in sequin dresses—Dugard silenced the room when she said, “My hope is to be remembered for what I do, and not what happened to me.”
Dugard, who was accepting the People’s Voice Award at the annual event, hosted by Diane von Furstenberg and Tina Brown in honor of courageous women, took the stage amid a standing ovation, joking that she was “a little short” for the tall microphone. Then she said simply, “Hi. My name is Jaycee Dugard. I want to say that. For a long time, I wasn’t able to say my name, and it feels good.” She was referring to her time in captivity, when, as a traumatized girl snatched off the street by kidnappers, she stopped saying her own name. “I am truly honored to be here tonight with these amazing woman who have done and been through so much, who have been through so much more than me,” she said.
Dugard was abducted at age 11 while walking to a schoolbus stop in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., in 1991, by a man named Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy. Dugard spent 18 years in captivity in an outdoor shed, giving birth to two girls fathered by Garrido, before she was rescued in 2009, thanks to a pair of observant women who alerted the authorities when they noticed Garrido and Dugard on an outing and thought something seemed off kilter. The Garridos are now in jail.
Dugard wrote a memoir called A Stolen Life about her experience last year and recently launched a group called the JAYC Foundation, which aims to help families recover from abduction and other trauma. At the event Friday, she thanked her family for helping her get through her own ordeal, singling out her mother, who “never gave up hope that she’d see me again,” she said. “I have to say, I felt that hope through many, many years. It gave me the strength to go on and live. And I did live. I had two beautiful daughters who I love with all my heart.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Burmese activists, young feminist bloggers and many more round out our final day.
Tina Brown extends a warm welcome on day three of the summit.
The action-packed third day of the Women in the World summit features discussions ranging from the digital lives of teen girls to the battle to end violent traditions in Africa to how more women can rise to the upper echelons of world politics. Here’s a preview:
* NBC’s Andrea Mitchell kicks off the morning with a panel about women in leadership, moderating a conversation between former congresswoman Jane Harman, Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga, Cameroon People’s Party President Kah Walla and more groundbreakers. Next, MSNBC’s Alex Witt will interview FEED Projects founder Lauren Bush Lauren about her mission to provide school meals to millions of children around the world.
* Later in the morning, ABC’s Cynthia McFadden with speak with California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the Ford Foundation’s Maya Harris (two lawyers who happen to be sisters) about their tireless efforts to help women seek justice. And Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sheryl WuDunn will interview Tostan founder Molly Melching and other passionate activists about how to end female genital mutilation.
Relive Friday's summit events with photo and video highlights.
From Gloria Steinem on the challenges women still face at work to Nobel winner Leymah Gbowee on American women's lack of rage; from Democratic minorit leader Nancy Pelosi on the recent threats to women's reproductive rights to Army veterans Zoe Bedell and Claire Russo on discrimination in the military; from 'Tiger Mom' Amy Chua on Chinese women's growing role in the world economy to Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Iran; from a frank discussion of Central America's epidemic of misogyny to Afghan elder Bibi Hokmina on her dealings with the Taliban, Women in the World's second day brought together extraordinary women from a staggering spectrum of nations, professions, and backgrounds. Catch up on all the panels and events with photo, video and blog highlights.
Egypt’s women, who were central to the revolution, worry their glimpse at new freedoms is fading. At the Women in the World Summit, a debate over Cairo at a crossroads.
Women played a vital role in Egypt’s revolution, but a year later the effect of Hosni Mubarak’s fall on the lives of women is still uncertain. Women from across Egypt’s political spectrum are debating the role of Islam and the future of Egypt’s female citizens.
Women led the men into Tahrir Square a year ago, said Sondos Asem, editor of the Muslim Brotherhood’s English-language site. “On Jan. 25, me and my mother and sisters convinced my father and brothers to join us,” she told moderator Andrew Sullivan. “We women stood at the forefront of the security barriers so the men could pass behind us,” she said, explaining that Hosni Mubarak’s security forces wouldn’t attack them. “We broke the security barriers till we got to Tahrir Square.”
But Namees Arnous, who quit her job at a news agency to join the revolution and now works for Bokra for Media Production, is worried the women of Egypt are being marginalized by the religious groups that have come to the fore since the fall of Mubarak. She says she appreciates the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts before the revolution, but has questions about their policies now that they’re in power. And she was always against the Salafists, the hardline Islamic party that came in second behind the Brotherhood in Egypt’s elections. They want to “put women inside a box inside the home,” she said.
Sondos said it was important to respect the freedom of the Salafists, who were oppressed by Mubarak. “I think after revolution we need to accept our diversity and accept fact that we are different,” she said. “I respect their right to wear hijab.”
Pulitzer-Prize-winning photographer Lynsey Addario spoke with Christopher Dickey about the late Marie Colvin, and the life of a female war correspondent.
Lynsey Addario Takes Chris Dickey to Task
Christopher Dickey called Marie Colvin the “greatest war correspondent of our generation.” She fearlessly covered the front lines in Kosovo, Baghdad, Sri Lanka, Libya, and, tragically, Syria, where she was killed in the siege of Homs. In a tribute to Colvin, Dickey interviewed Pulitzer-Prize-winning photogrpaher Lynsey Addario, who also covered the Libyan revolution and was captured by Muammar Gaddafi’s troops.
Addario was with the late New York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid and another colleague when they were captured by Gaddafi’s troops, who had been told all international journalists were spies. They were beaten and Addario was groped as they were held at the front lines, with artillery falling around them. “I think now we are the target,” Addario said. “The governments in the Arab Spring don’t like having what’s going on documented. I believe Marie Colvin was targeted.”
Grammy-nominated soprano performs at Women in the World. Watch video!
A True Diva Takes the Stage
Anna Netrebko, Russian star of the Metropolitan Opera, wrapped up Friday's Lincoln Center events with a stirring aria. Toward the end of her performance, she drew out a stunning B-flat (according to her manager) that caught everyone's breath. Upon leaving the stage, she admitted to showing off, saying it was because she was moved to see so many young girls in the audience.
Israel's opposition leader told Simon Schama that the Iranian threat is against all of the free world—but that she believes peace is possible.
Should the United States and Israel bomb Iran? Over the past few months, as more evidence has emerged that the Islamic Republic might be harnessing nuclear technology for military purposes, that question has been on the minds of many from Washington to Tel Aviv (not to mention Tehran).
Yet for Tzipi Livni, Israel’s opposition leader, it is a question that should be handled behind closed doors.
“I don’t like this megaphone diplomacy,” Livni told Newsweek and The Daily Beast’s Simon Schama at the Women in the World forum on Friday. “Maybe this is something that men do?”
The president's senior advisor tells Mellody Hobson what Obama's doing to advance women—and stresses fostering confidence in girls.
“How would you say women fit into the president’s overall vision?” Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, asked Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama and chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls.
"Integrally," Jarrett replied. “The president was raised by a single mom, he watched her struggle, he saw his grandmother hit a glass ceiling when she worked at a bank. And then he married this terrific woman and they were really struggling, and they had these two wonderful girls. He values women having a seat at the table, and our mission is to do everything within our power to improve the quality of life for women and girls."
By speaking up in the boardroom, women can get their ideas financed—and tap into the rapidly-growing buying power of other women, says Susan Lyne.
Women now control more than half the spending power in the U.S. So why is venture capital—the engine that powers innovation—so cold to their ideas? A panel of women entrepreneurs addressed the problem at the summit.
“One of the biggest problems is that there are just no women in the rooms where the decisions are being made,” said Susan Lyne, CEO of Gilt Groupe. “It’s simple calculus,” said Lyne, who formerly ran Martha Stewart’s OmniLiving Media and is now readying Gilt, a flash sale intenet site, for an IPO. “If you have a room filled with men, the ideas they’re going to want to finance are the ideas that appeal to men.”
Candace Browning, head of global research for Bank of America, called such thinking “completely out of touch with the reality.” A report she recently released advised clients to invest in businesses that harness the purchasing power of the 30- to 39-year-old women and women in the 60-plus age bracket. “That is where the growth really is.”
At the Women in the World Summit, the House minority leader urged more leadership roles for women, less influence of money in politics and an end to the contraception debate.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a call this afternoon for the increased participation of women in politics, policy, business, and the military as a way improving the national dialogue and enhancing individual rights.
“When I became speaker, they said, ‘You made history.’ Now we have to make progress,” Pelosi, who was speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011, told the Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center. Under questioning by Pat Mitchell, president of the Paley Center for Media, the California Democrat added: “Many ills, one cure—the increased participation of women in leadership and the decision-making.”
Pelosi’s comments—during a panel titled The New Threat to Women’s Rights—come at a moment when Republican elected officials and presidential candidates have questioned the necessity of widely available contraception, and have attempted through legislation to remove coverage from health insurance mandated by President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The issue came to a head in recent weeks with House Republicans excluding a female witness from an all-male hearing on the topic, the emergence of Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke as a spokesperson for contraceptive rights, and the incendiary insults of Fluke by right-wing radio jock Rush Limbaugh, which has resulted in a wave of advertisers abandoning the talk-show host.
The Russian journalist decried the newly re-elected president’s phony victory, saying, ‘The people know when they’re fooled.’
Russian journalist Masha Gessen railed against Vladimir Putin during a Friday afternoon panel with Chrystia Freeland, editor of Thompson Reuters Digital.
“There is no way to consider him a legitimate president,” she said in regard to the Russian leader’s recent re-election, explaining that Putin has a “monopoly” on both public dialog and the media.
Gessen, whose latest book is The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin (an excerpt of which recently ran in Newsweek), explained that she doesn’t consider him to be a democratically elected president, and she thinks the rest of the country “understands” this, too. “The people know when they’re fooled.”
How two entrepreneurs light up the dimmest corners of the world with a soccer ball.
It’s called the “sOccket.” It looks and works just like a soccer ball, but inside, it contains the technology to convert physical movement into electricity. Kick it around in a soccer game, then pull out the little lamp stored inside and you have hours of light.
This improbable gadget was invented not by engineers or scientists, but by two 23-year-olds, just out of Harvard. Both Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman had spent time in Africa and recognized that in many areas, there remains a great need for electricity. Small homes often have only kerosene lamps to provide light, which spew toxins equivalent to two packs of cigarettes a day.
Women play critical roles in war zones. Why hasn’t the Petagon acknowledged their role?
It’s time for the Department of Defense to acknowledge that women are playing critical roles in combat areas—and to finally confront and change an institutional culture in which rape and sexual assault is rampant.
That was the consensus among the panelists at “Women in Combat: Fighting on Two Fronts,” Friday afternoon at the Women in the World Summit. Moderator Martha Raddatz, a Senior Correspondent at ABC News, kicked off the conversation by recounting some of the tremendous examples of bravery among military women that she had come across while covering war. “And yet, up until last month, it was official Pentagon policy that women be excluded from ground combat,” she said. “So why is it that we have lost 144 women in these wars?”
Panelists Zoe Bedell and Claire Russo’s experiences serving in the armed forces helped answer that question. Bedell ran a Female Engagement Team, a program that sends female Marines to the frontlines in Afghanistan, one that has been called a “game changer.” Bedell said that her team’s work in Afghanistan fundamentally altered the way they were treated by their male fellow service members. “The first time we were in a firefight, when the male marines saw that the women didn’t freak out, [we] did everything like [we] were supposed to, that really sealed the bond,” she said. “After that, we were ‘our sisters, our girls.’”
In a lively, wide-ranging debate on women in China, Amy Chua calls the country’s education system 'miserable,' and Diane von Furstenberg gives the lowdown on mistresses.
If Amy Chua lived in China, she would be the most laid-back mother around, she said Friday afternoon at the Women in the World summit. The Chinese education system is “still incredibly oppressive” and “authoritarian,” said the Yale law professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. “It’s miserable.” She added, “When I went to China over the summer, it clearly struck me that if I were raising my kids in China against that background, I would not be strict at all. I would say go out and run.”
She also poked fun at American education, saying that with the “self-esteem movement” in this country, “you win a prize for everything.” China and the West have “polar-opposite-extreme problems” when it comes to education, she said. “I think, in that sense, we’re oceans apart.” She laughed when she said she found herself advising parents in China recently that “the best thing you can give your kids is some sleepovers.” No one knew what sleepovers were, she said.
Chua, who wrote Newsweek’s cover story this week on female Chinese tycoons, joined moderator Barbara Walters and three other women for a panel on how women are smashing stereotypes in China, with the group tackling topics ranging from fashion to the gap between rich and poor.
Afghan elder Bibi Hokmina confronts Janet Napolitano over night raids.
Backstage at Women in the World, Afghan elder Bibi Hokmina asked U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to please stop the night raids in her country. U.S. and Afghan forces frequently drop from helicopters to search the homes of suspected Taliban fighters, a practice that’s tremendously unpopular in Afghanistan. Hokmina told Napolitano that the raids violate women and children, and Napolitano replied that she would take Hokmina’s message all the way to the top. Admiral William McRaven estimates 2,800 raids were carried out last year.
They're starting revolutions, opening schools, and fostering a brave new generation. From Detroit to Kabul, these women are making their voices heard.
Watch the best moments from our third annual Women in the World Summit, from Leymah Gbowee to Amy Chua.
In a rollicking talk with Tina Brown, the Liberian peace activist says it's time to stop being polite: “We have to be our own Gandhis, our own kings, our own Mandelas."