Hilton Humanitarian Prize

2006 Laureate

Women for Women International

Women for Women International

Women for Women International helps women in war-ravaged areas move from victim to survivor, from crisis to hope, and from poverty to self-sufficiency.

Aiding women in war-torn areas

A century ago, 90 percent of war casualties were male soldiers. Today, 90 percent of war casualties are civilians. Of those, 75 percent are women and children. This has not happened by accident. Women are targets in many of today’s conflicts. Rape, mutilation, and torture are the tactics of choice.

Women for Women International was founded in 1993 in response to the suffering of women in Bosnia and Croatia who had survived rape camps and ethnic cleansing. It later expanded to other war-torn regions, including Afghanistan, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Nigeria, and Rwanda.

Connecting women around the world

Individual women are matched with a sponsor who offers both financial and emotional support through a personal exchange of letters. Through a one-year program, these survivors are provided with vocational and business skills training, access to capital, and leadership and rights education.

More than 317,000 women have benefited from Women for Women International’s assistance, helping them move beyond their personal tragedies to become social entrepreneurs and active citizens in their communities.