Honored with a special NGO membership, Karama participated in the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) from September 22-25 in New York City. In the past, CGI annual meetings have brought together more than 100 current and former heads of state, 14 Nobel Peace Prize winners, hundreds of leading global CEOs, major philanthropists, and accomplished members of the media. This year, the annual meeting noted a special focus which was of particular interest to Karama: Investing in Girls and Women.
Bill Clinton presents Karama Founder and CEO Hibaaq Osman with certificate commending Karama’s Commitment to Action
Over the course of the four-day conference, which kicked off with an address from President Barack Obama, Karama Founder and CEO Hibaaq Osman attended workshops, seminars, and dinners to speak with and hear from other activists committed to changing the status and conditions for women. A major highlight of this event took place when Karama was honored for its Commitment to Action, “Building Constituency for Equality and Justice in the Middle East&North Africa,” which was introduced by Ricky Martin of the Ricky Martin Foundation and recognized in conjunction with UNIFEM, one of Karama’s partners in its regional consultation on Beijing+15 and CEDAW planned for December. Commitments to Action are a unique feature of CGI membership which help link changemakers in partnerships that cross sectors and fuel progress with regard to new, specific and measurable initiatives detailed by member organizations. Karama has pledged its dedication to fulfillment of a three-year work plan in response to this year’s special focus.
After reviewing a large pool of candidates, CGI’s 2009 committee selected Karama’s commitment to build a constituency of women in the Middle East and North Africa to lobby for women’s rights, support each other collectively, and to change discriminatory laws using a bottom-up approach that invokes multi-sectoral constituencies to influence policymakers and communities at the national level, in regional bodies such as the Arab League, and at the international level in multi-lateral institutions such as the United Nations. The CGI commitment selection committee noted that Karama’s commitment was chosen as “an exemplary approach to addressing a specific global challenge,” and applauded Karama’s ongoing efforts in the Arab region.
Established in 2005, the Clinton Global Initiative was founded by President Clinton to bring together multiple sectors of society in order to build partnerships and foster collaboration and support government’s efforts to make a lasting impact on the world’s most pressing issues. This was the first year in which Karama participated as a member.