Katie Ward, a Class of 2006 alum from CLS, was invited by the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) to speak to women visiting from Afghanistan and Rwanda in July about her service and advocacy activities that help advance the status of women locally and worldwide.
While in the United States for the International Women’s Economic Summit, students of the Peace Through Business program attended the IEEW annual fundraiser where Ward spoke with students about her volunteer organization, Zonta Club of Central Oklahoma and her work for the United States Air Force. Many emotional stories were shared, including a student from Afghanistan conveying she was “very grateful” for the U.S. soldiers being in her country protecting her family, employees, and herself from the Taliban.
Ward spoke with the Rwandan students about many topics, including how Zonta International, in cooperation with UNICEF, provides programs focused on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV Infection as well as the prevention and response to survivors of domestic and gender based violence in Rwanda.
In addition to the IEEW’s efforts in Rwanda, Ward also spoke about the Zonta support for UNICEF’s maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) immunization efforts in Afghanistan.
Concluding the successful fundraiser, Ward had the opportunity to speak in a roundtable discussion with Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin about how her volunteering efforts with Zonta International provide assistance to women in developing countries to improve their legal, political, economic, educational, and health status.
Note: The College of Liberal Studies was renamed the College of Professional and Continuing Studies in 2017.