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Womens Leadership

  • WeTech Qualcomm Global Scholars: Empowering the Next Generation of Female STEM Leaders

    By: Kelty Davis on Tuesday, October 4, 2016

    Kelty Davis with two WeTech Qualcomm Global Scholars from Kerala, India

    This August, 36 young women pursuing undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from universities across India and China completed the first year of the WeTech Qualcomm Global Scholars Program, an exciting new initiative made possible through Qualcomm’s support.

    During the program, each Scholar received financial assistance through a US$5,000 scholarship and also had the unique opportunity to be mentored for a six-month period by a Qualcomm professional to further enhance her professional development and leadership skills.

    As the Program Officer for Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech), administered by the Institute of International Education, I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in this program since its inception in 2015 and see the transformation of these young women throughout the course of their mentorships.

  • Shimmer on a Cloudy Day: Reflections on IIE's HER Program

    By: Ethiopia Tilahun on Monday, August 22, 2016

    Three HER girls from Fitawrari celebrating their graduation

    “I sometimes was in doubt if I could realize my dreams but because of the support from the HER program there is no doubt for me now. I’m equipped with what I need to face the challenge I might face as a woman.” - HER Graduate

    The month of July is a rainy one for Ethiopia. For IIE and the graduates of the Higher Education Readiness (HER) program, however, the 28th of July stands out as a bright and remarkable day where we got together to celebrate 100 girls who successfully graduated from high school and the HER program. These graduates come from underserved communities and families, and the HER program assisted them with a pathway to university and a hope for their future.

  • Celebrating Tunisia's National Women's Day

    By: Julia Hendrickson on Thursday, August 11, 2016

    Sixty years ago, after gaining independence from France, Tunisia adopted the most progressive laws supporting women’s rights in the Middle East. The Tunisian Code of Personal Status outlawed polygamy, and gave women equal rights around decisions of marriage, divorce and child custody. Over the years, many have tried in the name of religion and cultural norms to challenge these laws. Most recently, the first draft of Tunisia’s new constitution released in 2012 caused outcry among women and emerging civil society organizations when Article 28 described women’s roles in the family as “complementary” to that of men.

  • Top 5 Ways IIE is Building Networks Across Africa

    By: Samantha Lasry on Thursday, May 26, 2016

    HER students at a mentorship session

    Through programs like ACE for Women’s Leadership and Higher Education Readiness (HER), IIE harnesses the power of international education to address major challenges facing the world today. Out of our office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, IIE is partnering with local, national and global leaders to tackle issues across the continent. From Addis to Nairobi to Ghana, IIE is working with African students, leaders, and politicians to promote advocacy and build networks within countries and across borders. Below are our top 5!

  • Empowering Voices and Contributing to HER Impact

    By: Evgenia Valuy on Wednesday, May 18, 2016

    HER girls speaking at their secondary school graduation

    Over the past two years I have had the privilege of working on the pilot evaluation of the Higher Education Readiness Program (HER), an IIE initiative that provides secondary school pathways to underprivileged girls in Ethiopia. HER girls continuously inspired me with their hard work and determination to achieve their dreams. Here are some examples:

  • Teach One, Reach All: The Multiplier Impact of Educating Girls and Women

    By: Rajika Bhandari on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

    Mihret is from a semi-rural area of Ethiopia where she passed her 10th and 12th grade national exams successfully. She is now studying at Adama University, pursuing her dream to be a doctor. In her own words: “In 7 years’ time, I will be a doctor and work in a hospital and save lives. I also plan to go abroad for a graduate degree and visit my country to help orphan children.” Mihret is one of a 100 girls in Ethiopia that IIE is helping stay on a pathway to success through the Higher Education Readiness (HER) program. HER is just one example of the Institute’s targeted approach to increasing female access to education and developing leadership skills. Last year alone, IIE-managed programs directly impacted the lives of 20,000 women and girls all over the world.

  • IIE Joins Girls CHARGE!

    By: IIE Center for Women's Leadership Initiatives on Thursday, February 4, 2016

    This past September IIE joined the Clinton Foundation and the Brookings Institution’s Collaborative for Harnessing Ambition and Resources for Girls’ Education (Girls CHARGE). Girls CHARGE is a collaboration of over 50 companies, civil society organizations, multilaterals and governments all committed to improving learning and leadership opportunities for young women and girls globally. IIE and our Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives are excited to be a part of such a powerful collective voice in advancing global action on women and girls education. Girls CHARGE partners have committed over $800 million to reach more than 15 million girls by 2019. IIE’s initial commitment is centered around expanding our HER program to help university become a reality for more than 60 girls in Ethiopia. Three of the HER girls received the highest university entrance exam results at their respective schools!

  • Turning Dreams into Reality: Impact of the Verizon Innovative Learning Program

    By: Namrata Jha on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

    What does it take to turn a dream into reality? Reflecting on various scholars, fellows and young leaders that I have worked with in the past and more specifically at the Institute of International Education, I have come up with the following items.

  • Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability (WES): Celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week

    By: Julia Hendrickson and Amy Parente on Friday, November 20, 2015

    Zina Ammar grew up in Gafsa, Tunisia, where she learned how to make the region’s famous Margoum carpets from the women in her family. Zina eventually started her own carpet-making business, but her lack of confidence and business skills limited her success. Hoping to grow her business, Zina enrolled in Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Financial Education trainings at the Women's Enterprise for Sustainability (WES) Center for Women’s Business Development in her community.

  • WeTech: Engineering the Future for Girls and Women since 2013

    By: Beth Garriott on Monday, September 28, 2015

    With the accelerating growth of engineering-related jobs globally and the predicted shortage of equipped employees, engaging more women is critical to both bridging the talent gap and providing companies with the diverse skills and perspectives necessary to thrive.

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About Opening Minds

For more than nine decades, the Institute of International Education has been at the forefront of international education. The Opening Minds blog is IIE’s take on how this field continues to change. Here the Institute’s leaders will explore international educational exchange, global student mobility, institutional partnerships, international development, and other topics and trends that are shaping higher education around the world.


IIE Opening Minds Blog
E-mail: blog@iie.org