"I firmly believe that the future prosperity and peace of the African continent rests in the economic empowerment of African women."
"Through our work, we are trying to help women abandon the tradition of bearing their burdens alone."
"I made a promise to myself, that I would build a new future, a new reality for Afghanistan."
"People think that power and real change comes from the top, from politicians and decision makers. But I believe that change doesn’t come from a law, change comes when you can shift culture."
"The practice of inclusion is not just a means to stop the violence, but at the heart of shaping the peace."
"Now I see a new future for myself. I want to be a member of parliament in my country. And show other women that they can be leaders in their communities and they have the right to live a life free of violence."
"I believe gender inequity is a market failure. You have to take risks. If you don't let the unexpected to happen, you will never truly understand the miracles of life."
These are stories of women in the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network. They are social entrepreneurs, politicians, human rights defenders — leaders of progress around the world. From booming cities to remote villages, women are moving whole communities, even countries, toward economic growth, wider political and public leadership and greater respect for human rights.
These are stories of what happens when you invest in women leaders. It’s not just their courage that’s remarkable — it’s how they take what they've learned and pass it on to the next generation of women leaders. One leader inspires many more, and a powerful ripple effect proves that women are agents of transformative change. Theirs are the Vital Voices of our time.