Vital Voices Invests in Women Leaders, Empowering Them to Turn Their Bold Visions for Change Into Reality

By Joanne Lu

Women making cookies at Khayelitsha Cookie Company

Vital Voices staff and Global Freedom Exchange Fellows from countries across Africa gathered in Cape Town for a “Regional Activation.” Pictured here, the group visited a women-owned, women-run social enterprise, called Khayelitsha Cookie Company. Photo courtesy of Vital Voices Global Partnership.

Alyse Nelson was just a college student when she heard then-First Lady Hilary Clinton’s landmark speech on women’s rights at the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995: “If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”

Little did she know that the fire that she felt in that moment would forever change her life, setting her on a quest “to use power to empower and to use voice to give voice.”

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