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International Women's Forum Learns about AFRICOM, Shares Perspectives with Staff during Visit to HQ
Forty-five international women spent the day learning about U.S. Africa Command&#39;s mission and sharing their perspectives with staff during a visit to Kelley Barracks September 7, 2011. <br /> <br />Members of the International Women&#39;s
STUTTGART, Germany - Major General Barbara Faulkenberry, U.S. Africa
Command's deputy director for Logistics, listens to a member of the
International Women's Forum (IWF) during a one day visit to AFRICOM
headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, September 7, 2011.  During their visit,
members of the IWF met with the command's leadership, attended various
briefings to learn about AFRICOM programs and activities, and held
discussions with staff on a variety of topics. IWF is a global organization
of women aimed at advancing women's leadership across careers, cultures and
continents by connecting the world's most prominent women of significant and
diverse achievement.  (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Nancy Hudson)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 3: STUTTGART, Germany - Major General Barbara Faulkenberry, U.S. Africa Command's deputy director for Logistics, listens to a member of the International Women's Forum (IWF) during a one day visit to AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, September 7, 2011. During their visit, members of the IWF met with the command's leadership, attended various briefings to learn about AFRICOM programs and activities, and held discussions with staff on a variety of topics. IWF is a global organization of women aimed at advancing women's leadership across careers, cultures and continents by connecting the world's most prominent women of significant and diverse achievement. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Nancy Hudson) Download full-resolution version
STUTTGART, Germany - International Women's Forum representatives participate in an orientation program to explain U.S. Africa Command's mission and programs, September 07, 2011. While visiting Kelley Barracks the members of IWF met with senior military officials and received informational briefings on many AFRICOM programs. (US AFRICOM photo by Nancy Hudson)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 2 of 3: STUTTGART, Germany - International Women's Forum representatives participate in an orientation program to explain U.S. Africa Command's mission and programs, September 07, 2011. While visiting Kelley Barracks the members of IWF met with senior military officials and received informational briefings on many AFRICOM programs. (US AFRICOM photo by Nancy Hudson) Download full-resolution version
STUTTGART, Germany - Ambassador J. Anthony Holmes, U.S. Africa Command&#39;s deputy to the commander for civil-military activities, addresses members of the International Women&#39;s Forum (IWF) during a one-day visit to AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, September 7, 2011. During their visit, members of the IWF met with the command&#39;s leadership, attended various briefings to learn about AFRICOM programs and activities, and held discussions with staff on a variety of topics. IWF is a global organization
of women aimed at advancing women&#39;s leadership across careers, cultures and continents by connecting the world&#39;s most prominent women of significant and diverse achievement.  (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Nancy Hudson)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 3 of 3: STUTTGART, Germany - Ambassador J. Anthony Holmes, U.S. Africa Command's deputy to the commander for civil-military activities, addresses members of the International Women's Forum (IWF) during a one-day visit to AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, September 7, 2011. During their visit, members of the IWF met with the command's leadership, attended various briefings to learn about AFRICOM programs and activities, and held discussions with staff on a variety of topics. IWF is a global organization of women aimed at advancing women's leadership across careers, cultures and continents by connecting the world's most prominent women of significant and diverse achievement. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Nancy Hudson) Download full-resolution version
STUTTGART, Germany - Major General Barbara Faulkenberry, U.S. Africa
Command's deputy director for Logistics, listens to a member of the
International Women's Forum (IWF) during a one day visit to AFRICOM
headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, September 7, 2011.  During their visit,
members of the IWF met with the command's leadership, attended various
briefings to learn about AFRICOM programs and activities, and held
discussions with staff on a variety of topics. IWF is a global organization
of women aimed at advancing women's leadership across careers, cultures and
continents by connecting the world's most prominent women of significant and
diverse achievement.  (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Nancy Hudson)
STUTTGART, Germany - International Women's Forum representatives participate in an orientation program to explain U.S. Africa Command's mission and programs, September 07, 2011. While visiting Kelley Barracks the members of IWF met with senior military officials and received informational briefings on many AFRICOM programs. (US AFRICOM photo by Nancy Hudson)
STUTTGART, Germany - Ambassador J. Anthony Holmes, U.S. Africa Command&#39;s deputy to the commander for civil-military activities, addresses members of the International Women&#39;s Forum (IWF) during a one-day visit to AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, September 7, 2011. During their visit, members of the IWF met with the command&#39;s leadership, attended various briefings to learn about AFRICOM programs and activities, and held discussions with staff on a variety of topics. IWF is a global organization
of women aimed at advancing women&#39;s leadership across careers, cultures and continents by connecting the world&#39;s most prominent women of significant and diverse achievement.  (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Nancy Hudson)
Forty-five international women spent the day learning about U.S. Africa Command's mission and sharing their perspectives with staff during a visit to Kelley Barracks September 7, 2011.

Members of the International Women's Forum (IWF), the visitors met with the command's leadership, attended various briefings to learn about AFRICOM programs and activities more in depth, and held discussions with staff on a variety of topics.

IWF is a global organization of successful women aimed at advancing women's leadership across careers, cultures and continents by connecting the world's most prominent women of significant and diverse achievement. Its members -- about 5,000 -- came together to exchange ideas, to learn and inspire, and to promote better leadership for a changing world, according to the organization's website.

"I'm so impressed to be here today with this distinguished group of women, international women, gathered on the advent of the tenth anniversary of September 11, here in the heart of Germany," said Heidi Kuhn, IWF member.

As founder and CEO of Roots of Peace, a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating landmines and rehabilitating the land worldwide, Kuhn noted the importance of learning more about AFRICOM activities for her business.

"Africa is one of the most heavily mined [continents] in the world," Kuhn said. "And primarily, it's 10,000 women and children each year who suffer the peril of land mines. So from a humanitarian's perspective, whether the boot of the soldier or the sandal of a child, it's an indiscriminate weapon of mass destruction in slow motion."

Kuhn went on to explain that after landmines are removed, her organization is able to assist countries in restoring the land for sustainable agricultural use, which she's seen achieved in Africa.

"I've walked in Angola where Princess Diana took her final footsteps in the city of Huambo and it's the headwaters of the Okavango region," she said. "You see tiny fresh strawberries, bananas, pineapples, mangos; and it's a country that has the potential not only to feed itself, but feed sub-Sahara Africa. So I think today is so key, to be informed, to have the honor and privilege and be invited by AFRICOM to be briefed as CEOs of corporations and non-profit organizations, so that we are articulating a new equation for the world - military forces and market forces coming together to plant the roots of peace."

Cynthia Eisenberg, president of the Northern California affiliate of the IWF, and Community Bank Investors co-founder and partner, said empowerment of women is a key in any country's success.

"I think in order for any country to be successful, whether it's the U.S. or a country in Africa, or anywhere in the world, you really need to have both halves of the equation empowered," Eisenberg said. "So, it's extremely important to have both the masculine and feminine populations working together and being empowered to contribute their highest and best skills."

Eisenberg noted that programs like AFRICOM's sex and gender-based violence (SGBV) training in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that is aimed at improving access to care and treatment services for victims and also to promote community awareness and fight impunity for perpetrators of SGBV, shares the fundamental principal of the IWF organization -- empowering women.

"I think we have a collective voice here today with so many intellectual women of diverse backgrounds," said Kuhn.

The voice of the group is something Eisenberg said is powerful and was made stronger by being able to learn more about African issues and U.S. AFRICOM's role.

"Knowledge is power," said Eisenberg. "The more we know about [Africa], the more we can communicate with our colleagues, and friends, and let them know how important these programs are so that more of the American business and population will understand the issues and the riskssâ?and give thanks for this work.

"I think both myself and all of us are extremely grateful for what Africa Command has done and I think our eyes have really been open to the depth of the issues and also the breadth of the training that all of the personnel have," added Eisenberg.

IWF individuals also visited U.S. European Command on Patch Barracks, Kurpfalz Kaserne in Speyer, Germany along with 17th Air Force at Ramstein Air Base in Kaiserslautern, Germany and nearby Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
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