October 19, 2018
At the 17th Annual Asia Initiatives Gala on Oct. 18, Dr. Susan M. Blaustein, founder and executive director of WomenStrong International, and Dr. Chelsea Clinton, vice-chair of The Clinton Foundation, were presented with the second annual “Ban Ki-moon Award for Women’s Empowerment.” Asia Initiatives , a global nonprofit organization that leverages social capital to promote sustainable development, established the award to recognize leaders for their work advocating for women and girls worldwide.
Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the award’s first honoree, presented the award, which was created in recognition of his leadership in support of women’s rights and gender equity. General Ban’s vision led to the creation of UN Women, the first High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, and to his appointment of the first UN female force commander to head peacekeeping operations in Cyprus. Previous awardees include Gloria Steinem, a celebrated feminist activist; philanthropist Eva Haller; and Yue-Sai kan, an entrepreneur and producer.
In a statement, Gen. Ban said, “It is such an honor for me to be able to properly recognize these amazing women. During my tenure as Secretary-General, I always worked to make women’s empowerment a top priority, and I can see that Asia Initiatives is carrying on that legacy.”
As founder/executive director of WomenStrong International, Dr. Blaustein works to catalyze women-led initiatives around the world, including those in Ghana, Kenya, Haiti, India, and the United States. Similarly, Dr. Clinton, vice-chair of The Clinton Foundation, is working to empower women and girls through her efforts at the foundation and as the author of her new children’s book, She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World, and the companion volume, She Persisted Around the World.
“Empowering women and girls worldwide is key to peace, to eliminating all forms of violence, and to enabling families, communities, and nations to thrive,” said Dr. Blaustein. “Asia Initiatives’ Ban Ki-moon Award is such an honor and such an important recognition of the brilliance and hard work of women and girls everywhere, who know best what they need to succeed and whose truthful, clarion voices deserve to be heard, now more than ever.”