The “100 Women Initiative” developed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton brought 19 international visitors to Des Moines this week. Ann Stock is the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Stock says Des Moines is one of 15 U.S. cities participating in the initiative.

“We want the group of women to meet a variety of established leaders and emerging leaders in the United States and Iowa fits that bill. I mean, you’re actively involved in international diplomacy every year,” Stock said. The initiative involves 100 women from 92 countries visiting several U.S. states over a three week period.

In Iowa, Stock says the women met with female legislators, the League of Women Voters of Iowa and members of the women studies program at Drake University. “They’re talking to a lot of women in Iowa and all over the United States who have a lot of experience that they can draw upon,” Stock said.

“But it’s really, when you think about it, a two way street. Because they’ll draw on the experience of American women, but American women also learn a lot about what’s going on in these other countries.” The initiative was developed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.