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As the Clinton Global Initiative opens its final annual meeting, Zainab Salbi lauds its vision

Zainab Salbi, women’s rights activist and founder Women for Women International, talks about the impact of the Clinton Global Initiative and the amazing community of activists and humanitarian workers CGI has built to advocate for women’s economic progress around the world. 

Salbi shares examples of ways CGI brings together diverse people and organizations to help raise awareness, funds, and ideas to empower women and nurture societies—bringing large-scale impact to grassroots global efforts, and giving the power and resources to a whole new generation to lift up women and the world. Click through to read the whole article. 

nytlive.nytimes.com – I am a first-hand witness to the impact that the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) has made in the world. It’s much easier to criticize institutions, pointing out their flaws from afar, than to run them. As someone dedicated to women’s rights, and who cares about the environment and education, I am grateful for the community CGI has built: for its trailblazing multi-sector collaborations; for its determination to push marginalized issues into the limelight; and for the platform its conference has provided for so many leaders at the grassroots level.  Though I am saddened that this year marks CGI’s last Annual Meeting, I trust that the community it has built and the impact of their work will endure.

I was invited to many conferences during my tenure as founder and CEO of Women for Women International.  Like many non-profit leaders, I took whatever opportunity I was offered to raise awareness and support for my organization. I have circulated in the global conference world quite a bit (and sometimes been jaded by it). But no organization has had as great an impact as CGI has on Women for Women International and women’s rights: I raised more funds for women survivors of wars while attending CGI than through any other initiatives — from an individual who contributed $25,000 for humanitarian work in Afghanistan to donors and companies that contributed more than a million dollars for women’s education in Rwanda.

I am hardly the only witness to CGI’s impact. I’m joined by an entrepreneur helping women earn paychecks in rural Pakistan and an educational leader in the slums of Kenya, both in their 20s and doing amazing work at the grassroots level.  Not until CGI supported them were they given the opportunity to speak in front of world leaders and attract support for their work.

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