Former President George W. Bush's policy institute has launched a fellowship program designed to help women in the Middle East hone their leadership skills as they build a network of support.
Charity Wallace, director of the women's initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, says the goal is to "empower women to transform their countries."
The inaugural group participating in the yearlong fellowship is a diverse gathering of 14 Egyptian women.
Former first lady Laura Bush, who chairs the women's initiative, says the idea for the fellowship grew out of her husband's belief that women will lead the freedom movement.
On Thursday, she will give a keynote address before a town hall discussion with women from the program to mark International Women's Day.