Conflict & Justice

The league of extraordinary worldly women


Academy Award winner Meryl Streep will be present at this weekend's Women in the World Summit.


Yoshikazu Tsuno

The globe’s great sisterhood will launch its third annual summit tonight, bringing together female leaders of all kinds from around the world in an emphatic close to International Women’s Day.

GlobalPost partner Newsweek/The Daily Beast, led by former Vanity Fair and The New Yorker editor Tina Brown, hosts the Women in the World Summit — three days of speeches, discussions, food, and femininity with some of the hardest hitters in their respective fields.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, actress Angelina Jolie, renowned Russian soprano Anna Netrebko, journalist Christiane Amanpour, and Israeli leader Tzipi Livni are just a few of the well-known names scheduled to be in attendance.

But the voices that really count are those that are lesser known, amplified through an event like this. Without the bright lights of Meryl Streep to drive attendees, the voice of Suma, a 16-year-old survivor of domestic slavery from Nepal who will sing an opening song, might never be heard — like countless other female voices whose stories will be shared and who will be the inspiration for solutions around the world.

“The fantastic thing about this year’s summit is being able to bring to life so many of the women who have no voice to offer but who we can bring to the stage and we can showcase their stories,” said Brown in a video trailer for the summit.

Whether its a battle for medicine in the form of contraception or a battle for freedom from unforgiving governments, women need each other to be heard and move forward.

Fifty-two percent of the humans on Earth are women, and somehow they are 'less-than' in many countries and cultures on the planet. In this world, even now, women are straining to be heard. Voices rasping, dry from yelling to the beat of war drums, the women of the world we live in struggle and fight every day. 

The Women in the World summit will run from March 8 through 10, with panels and talks on women in public office, the fate of girls in Afghanistan, women in peril in Latin America, the American military’s sexual assault problem, the young revolutionaries of the Arab Spring.

GlobalPost will be present with small delegation including myself, senior correspondent Jean MacKenzie — who recently published a three-part series titled “Life Sentence: Women & Justice in Afghanistan", deputy editor for Special Reports Kevin Grant and several fellows from the GlobalPost-Open Hands Initiative ‘Covering a Revolution’ Fellowship. These fellows broke the case of Samira Ibrahim, the Egyptian woman who sued the country's military for subjecting her to a "virginity test,"  to an international audience

I’ll be liveblogging and tweeting the summit, and you can follow along @lexikon1 with the hashtag #wiw12. To see the weekend's agenda, head to the Daily Beast.

For more from GlobalPost, check out our Special Report “Life Sentence,” Jean MacKenzie’s series on women in Afghanistan.