Jeff Smith, NBC 5 News
Former first lady Laura Bush speaks at SMU to honor women who are making a difference around the world.
Former first lady Laura Bush has told aspiring female leaders from Egypt that including women throughout society strengthens communities and improves the stability of countries.
She spoke Friday in Dallas to the first graduates of the George W. Bush Institute's Women's Initiative Fellowship Program. It's also the beginning of the next yearlong class to help women from the Middle East develop leadership skills and build a stronger civil society.
Bush said the initiative is meant to help improve social and economic opportunity for women and girls.
The event on the campus of Southern Methodist University also helped celebrate International Women's Day.
The institute is part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which will open May 1 on the campus.