History

The nonprofit Vital Voices Global Partnership grew out of the U.S. government's successful Vital Voices Democracy Initiative. The Vital Voices Democracy Initiative was established in 1997 by then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright after the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing to promote the advancement of women as a U.S. foreign policy goal.

Under the leadership of the Vital Voices Democracy Initiative, the U.S. government, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations, the World Bank, the Nordic Council of Ministers, the European Union and other governments coordinated Vital Voices conferences throughout the world, bringing together thousands of emerging women leaders from over 80 countries.

These conferences launched regional Vital Voices initiatives that continue to give women the skills and resources they need to lift up themselves, their communities and their countries.

The overwhelmingly positive response to the Vital Voices Democracy Initiative led to the creation of Vital Voices Global Partnership as a nonprofit non-governmental organization (NGO) in June 2000. Vital Voices is now continuing the work of advancing women's economic, political and social status around the world, by providing skills, networking and other support to women around the world, whether they are working to increase women's political participation in Latin America or to promote women's entrepreneurship in the Middle East.