For the past month I have been working with women from Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Mongolia, and Myanmar in an international institute sponsored by the U.S. State Department on Global Women’s Leadership. It has been a very interesting experience meeting people from various cultures that I have not been exposed to before and perhaps would not have had the opportunity to encounter had I not been involved in such a program. Many of the women were involved with the revolutions that took place in their countries and hearing their stories was both heartbreaking and inspiring. It really puts your life in perspective and I cannot imagine witnessing some of the things that they have.
Throughout the institute we built our leadership skills, as well as learned about U.S. women’s history and various women’s issues such as violence against women, misrepresentation in the media, and women’s entrepreneurship.
The last week we traveled to Boston, NYC, and Washington DC, culminating in a conference at the State Department where we met even more women from around the world. It was a great way to end the institute as we shared good memories and grew even closer. What I learned throughout this institute is that the world is both big and small. The world is extremely vast and there is so much to see, perhaps even some things to discover that have yet to be discover, but it is also small in that we are all part of humankind and therefore connected. For this institute, 30 people came together from 6 countries, people who may not have interacted otherwise, and discovered worlds different from their own. This kind of experience is incredibly enriching and opens one’s mind for time to come. I am so grateful to have had such an opportunity to make connections with women from around the world, and I know we will all shape the world for the better in the future.