SAHAR HARDER: PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL PEACE FOUNDATION
Sahar Harder is the president of the National Peace Foundation. She has been working on women’s agenda at national and international levels for 30 years already. Today, her study and action guide titled ‘Women's Future, World Future: Education for Survival and Progress’ is used in 68 countries. Ms. Harder will take part in the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum and share her ideas and practices to improve women’s status in society.
Her professional path started with teaching English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Shortly before giving birth to her fourth child, Ms. Harder asked to give her a two-week vacation. However, the university didn’t provide pregnant woman with special leave. Considering this unjust, Sahar Harder put every effort to fix the situation. Finally, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire changed its leave policy.
Ms. Harder has always been non-indifferent to people around, particularly to women. When working at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire she made everything possible to make it easier for low-income women to enter the university. She also launched the women's studies program University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. In addition, Sahar Harder contributed to establishing many women’s associations in the USA.
Thanks to her extensive efforts and non-indifference to all those around, she won the respect of society, was elected the Co-Chairperson of the National Women’s Conference Committee, and became the foundation member of the National Council of Women’s Organizations. In 1995, Ms. Harder headed the American Association of University Women and took active part in developing programmes that contributed to accessible good-quality education for girls and women.
After her presidency at the Association, Sarah Harder continued her activity in the social field. Since 1991, she has worked on civil society, peace building and social partnership projects. The National Peace Foundation in active cooperation with public organisations and the Mission of the Russian Federation are implementing them.
Ms. Harder pays much attention to cooperation with the Russian Federation. She has been working on women’s rights protection in Russia for a long time. According to her, Russia’s women have huge leadership potential necessary to be developed. For example, the Open World Programme, an exchange programme managed by the Center for Russian Leadership Development at the Library of Congress in the USA, was launched in 1999 with Sarah Harder’s help. The programme brought together about 5 thousand Russian leaders including women. It helped them know more about the USA’s free enterprise system, exchange experience and ideas, and find new business contacts.
Sahar Harder became the president of the National Peace Foundation in 2006. Today she keeps on contributing to the improvement in women’s status, as well as to peace building.
Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov