Former President Bill Clinton has always been a supporter of the rights of women and girls. He was recently acknowledged as a champion for women at a gala hosted by Women for Women International, an organization that helps women survivors of war rebuild their lives. Women for Women International honored Clinton at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City presenting him with the “Champion of Peace” award.
Through the Global Clinton Initiative, the former President and partners have created financial independence for women and girls, helped create sustainable jobs, worked to reduce the maternal mortality rates, and worked to end violence and sexual violence against women in third world countries.
Clinton accepted the award from Women for Women International with a joke– thanking supporters of women’s causes for trying to offset the mistakes of men, according to the Huffington Post.
Women for Women International said of honoring Clinton, “President Clinton’s support of women and girls through Clinton Global Initiative has single-handedly shifted the discussion from a marginal to a central discussion essential to world stability and success. His personal passion and commitment on the issue has touched many hearts and led to much action and his dedication to bringing real change has led to a solid impact on women’s well-being through corporations and NGO action.”
Clinton was not alone at the Women for Women International gala. He was accompanied by one of the many strong women in his life, one that he helped create, his daughter, Chelsea. Clinton spoke about the continued empowerment of women, the liberation of men, and about the strong women in his own life. He thanked and applauded the organizer and the audience for the work that has already been done for women, but pushed for more progress on global health and education initiatives.
“What [we're] trying to do here is change the behavior of history. If we do it together, we’ll still make some mistakes, but we’ll be stumbling in the right direction,” said Clinton.
Women for Women International was founded by Zainab Salbi, an Iraqi refugee, in 1993 while working with women in war torn Bosnia and Herzegovina. The organization has impacted more than 1.7 million family members around the world by distributing more than $103 million in direct aid and micro credit loans to women in need.
The “Champion of Peace” award is given out annually by the organization. This year, Bill Clinton, joins former “Champion of Peace” award recipients Mary J. Blige, and Jennifer and Peter Buffett.