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Afghan women's education pioneer wins WISE award in Doha

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Afghan women's education pioneer wins WISE award in Doha

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In Doha the 7th World Innovation Summit for Education, WISE is underway.

The Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar welcomed this year’s special guest, the First Lady of the United States.
Michelle Obama gave an impassioned speech about girls’ and young women’s education needs and status.

“I very much look forward to working with her and her ‘Education Above All Foundation’ to help more children, particularly adolescent girls,” Obama said, referring to Sheikha Moza.

But the spotlight was also on another woman, the winner of this year’s Wise Prize worth 500,000 dollars (460,000 euros). Dr. Sakena Yacoobi was recognised for her efforts to help Afghan women and children through the Afghan Institute of Learning, which she founded.

“It’s a wonderful recognition.” said Yacoobi. “The award is giving me the opportunity to educate more and more people.”

Leymah Gwobee, the Nobel Peace Prize winner of 2011, couldn’t contain her emotion at Yacoobi’s winning of the award: “Oh my God, I was crying. I’m happy because I’ve known Sakena for a lot of years and I know the struggle for fundraising, but I also know her commitment to the Afghan people, to education in Afghanistan and I feel like I’ve won the Nobel Peace Prize again because Sakena won the Prize.”

This year’s Wise summit 2015 also focusses on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the link between education and the economy. “How can we better match education to employers’ needs? What more can companies do? That’s what experts at the summit in Qatar are trying to answer,” said our correspondent at the WISE Summit, Andrea Büring.


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