• Somali Dr. Hawa Abdi accepts her Fern Holland award during the Vital Voices Global Awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington on April 2, 2013. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty, NICHOLAS KAMM)


    "We Are Past The Mode Of War"

    Somalia's Dr. Hawa Abdi and Steve Felice of Dell speak about the importance of investing in women in emerging markets.

    At the close of the Clinton Global Initiative University this past weekend, former president Bill Clinton told Stephen Colbert that the one lingering problem he’d most like to tackle is "the disparity in treatment between boys and girls and women and men." Earlier in the day, two leaders from seemingly unrelated worlds—Dr. Hawa Abdi, a co-host of the 2013 Women in the World Summit, who has provided refuge to more than 100,000 displaced people since the start of Somalia’s civil war, and Steve Felice, president and chief commercial officer of Dell—took part in a panel, moderated by Chelsea Clinton, that addressed this very issue. Afterwards, Abdi and her daughter Deqo Mohamed sat down with Felice, bringing together the worlds of a remote displaced person’s camp and big tech to connect on common goals—and shared challenges.

    Sarah J. Robbins: You’ve established initiatives that seem very different but that each promote women’s entrepreneurship. Dr. Abdi and Deqo, your foundation has a Women’s Education Center. Why, with the many needs in Somalia, have you chosen to do this?