Arguably one of the most influential women's rights leaders of our time, Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International, has used her unique voice and tireless dedication to improve the lives and opportunities of women worldwide for nearly twenty years. Born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1970, Zainab's young life was deeply impacted by her father's position as personal pilot to Saddam Hussein. Growing up under tyrannical rule, and experiencing firsthand the psychological abuse of Hussein's dictatorial position, Zainab has chosen to dedicate her adult life to the women around the world who are trapped in countries embroiled in war. She has written extensively about her experiences growing up in Iraq, as well as the abusive first marriage she endured upon her arrival in the United States at the age of twenty, in her fascinating memoir Between Two Worlds. In 1993, Zainab founded Women for Women International in an effort to connect women who are victims of rape and other tragic consequences of war with other women abroad who can help them rebuild their lives. To date, the organization has helped over 120,000 women and has won the largest humanitarian award in the world, the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. Having been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show seven times, as well as on countless other shows, Women for Women International has grown exponentially due to the media exposure from some of the top programs on television. A powerful speaker, passionate humanitarian, and accomplished writer, Zainab's influence on the lives of women around the world has likely only just begun.
"Women who survive war are strong, resilient and courageous - they just need some support dealing with the aftermath of conflict. So, we give them the tools they need to help themselves and their families, while providing them with the education to be leaders and advocates in their communities."
"In wars, trust is lost. Betrayal leads to silence. Rape victims do not talk. Women disappear just when their families and their societies need them most--because you can't rebuild a strong economy without strong women."