National Press Club

Von Furstenberg Introduces Leadership Award Winners

March 26, 2009

Diane von Furstenberg, left, and Sadiqa Basiri Saleem

Diane von Furstenberg, left, and Sadiqa Basiri Saleem

Photo/Image: Sam Hurd

Fashion Designer Diane von Furstenberg introduced five award-winning female leaders, including one journalist, at a press conference Thursday at the National Press Club.

The women received 2009 Global Leadership Awards from Vital Voices along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a ceremony Thursday night at the Kennedy Center. The awards honor their achievements in economic entreprenuership, girls' education, anti-trafficking programs and combating violence against women.

"I believe in women's strength," von Furstenberg said. "I believe if you invest in woman, you can save the world."

The honorees are:

  • Somaly Mam of Cambodia, for her work with victims of human trafficking
  • Temituokpe Esisi of Nigeria, for establishing her own fashion design company in Lagos
  • Marceline Kongolo-Bice of the Democratic Republic of Congo, for working to heal and rehabilitate rape victims and educating women on their rights
  • Chouchou Namegabe Nabintu of the Democratic Republic of Congo, for using her broadcast journalism to fight government corruption and injustices against women
  • Sadiqa Basiri Saleem of Afghanistan, for founding an education center for women