DALLAS, March 8 (UPI) -- Former first lady Laura Bush addressed two groups of Egyptian women on International Women's Day Friday, in Dallas, officials said.
Bush spoke to the first graduates of the George W. Bush Institute's Women's Initiative Fellowship Program, and to its next fellowship class, USA Today reported.
The fellowship program is aimed at helping women and girls from the Middle East by improving their social and economic opportunities.
"Research shows that one of the best indicators of a woman's success is her network. To help Egyptian women expand their networks, our first 14 Women's Initiative Fellows took part in leadership training in the U.S. and established links to other women to exchange ideas, expertise and learn new ways to advance their work. When the class returned to Egypt, its members attended special training sessions in Cairo run by the Bush Institute and maintained regular contact with their American mentors," Bush said. "Today, a second class of 19 Egyptian women will begin their fellowship. All of the fellows will share what they learn with others, creating a multiplier effect."
"At the Bush Institute, we believe that by investing in women and cultivating new generations of female leaders across many walks of life, we will nurture societies that respect and defend the rights of all citizens -- men and women," Bush said.
"With united effort, we can look forward to the day when every woman is educated and empowered and able to fully participate in the life of her nation," she concluded.