The Women in the World Summit —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.
Africa was well represented at the event with Nigerian actress, Stephanie Okereke acting in a special showing of the play – Seven. Oscar winner Streep read the role of Irish activist Inez McCormack. Other actresses featured inlcuded Shohreh Aghdashloo (The House of Sand and Fog), Tony-nominated Julyana Soelistyo (Golden Child), Lauren Vélez (Dexter), Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife) and Marcia Gay Harden (Pollack).
In the play, Stephanie took on the role of Hafsat Abiola-Costello. Hafsat Abiola is an advocate for human rights and democracy following the murder of her activist parents, founded the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, which provides skills-training and leadership opportunities for young women across Nigeria. She now helps build bridges between African and Chinese women, as China increases its engagement in the African continent.
There were lots of remarkable, emotional and insightful moments during the events. Outstanding African women from around the continent spoke about their experiences and the roles they are playing in making in change. There were also various discussions that are sure to promote positive action.
See photos from the event below.
Photo Credit: The Daily Beast / Women in the World
Marietou Diarra, a Senegalese woman, closed the panel with a powerful story of what her society calls “the tradition.” She spoke in her native language of Wolof, translated by Melching. After a string of tragedies, Diarra’s family and in-laws banded together to reject the procedure. Her entire village followed suit. She eventually helped to convince over 40 neighboring villages—through education and community deliberation—to abandon genital cutting.