Vital Voices Leadership Awards at Kennedy Center

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Hillary Clinton attended the 13th Annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards on Tuesday evening at the Kennedy Center.

Five women from Syria, Tanzania, Iraq, India and Guatemala were honored for their strides to strengthen democracy, increase economic opportunity and protect human rights.

Founder of Vital Voices Hillary Clinton presented Syrian human rights activist Razan Zaitouneh with the Global Trailblazer Award. Rana Zaitouneh accepted the award from Clinton on the behalf of her sister who was kidnapped last December. "Last December, she was abducted. Her vital voice is silent now, even as her country continues to burn," Clinton said.

Other award presenters included CBS this Morning's co-host Norah O'Donnell and well-known fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg.

Von Furstenberg, who is also a Vital Voices board member, said that when she discovered Vital Voices she was in awe. "I had met an organization whose voice matched what I thought, which is to empower women, not necessarily by giving them charity, but by helping them to get their own power."

The Award Winners:

Razan Zaitouneh, Syria, Global Trailblazer Award

Dr. Vitoria Kisyombe, Tanzania, Economic Empowerment Award

Priti Patkar, India, Human Rights Award

Claudia Paz Y Paz, Guatemala, Leadership in Public Life Award

Suaad Allami, Iraq, Fern Holland Award​


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