Twenty Women Who Are Changing the World

By: Jennifer Gamboa-Haker

Throughout my career, there have been many women who have encouraged and inspired me to be better. Today, I’m proud to celebrate twenty such women as they graduate from the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program.

PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® – a program within Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) – provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs from Afghanistan and Rwanda to participate in two weeks of mentorship, education, and leadership training in Dallas, TX. Before the women come to the U.S., they spend 10 weeks in their home countries participating in classroom training and business education. AT&T has supported the program since its inception nine years ago because it addresses so many issues we care about, including closing gender gaps and helping people achieve economic stability through education. My colleagues and I, as members of Women of AT&T, have had the privilege of hosting them at our offices and hearing their amazing stories.

Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women

The participants have overcome great adversity and political turmoil. They’ve persevered to make their businesses successful and worked to inspire other women in their community. For example, Humira Saqib opened a women’s news agency in Afghanistan and is now working to become a world news leader. And Octa Muhirwa supports her family with a dairy farm in Rwanda that currently employs six other people.

On behalf of my colleagues, and Women of AT&T, I’d personally like to congratulate all of the graduates. I know they will take what they learned over the past two weeks and use it to strengthen both their businesses and their communities. And more personally, I want to thank them for inspiring me to bolster my commitment to helping women achieve their dreams everywhere.

If you’re interested in getting involved you can sign up to become a mentor for future PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® students, or support the program with a personal donation. Find out more by visiting the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women, at

Humira Saqib

Humira Saqib (born 1980) is an Afghan journalist and women's human rights activist. She is one of the leading activists who through her writings in the magazine Negah-e-Zan (A Vision of Women) and in Afghan Women's News Agency, has been protesting against extreme forms of harassment against women in her radically Islamic country. She pleads that the parliament should enact laws for "Elimination of Violence against Women and enforce it vigorously.... Education, is also a key to changing mentalities around women's roles in society."[1][2][3] She is now pursuing her efforts to further women's rights by working for the women's news agency as a writer and editor.[

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