Honoring the 2017 International Women of Courage

A few months ago I came back from lunch and noticed a new file sitting on my desk. Recognizing it as a new International Visitor Leadership Project (IVLP) assignment, I looked for the title and saw four letters: “IWOC”. Having no idea what that meant, I thought “Huh, strange.” Little did I know that I had been given the opportunity to work on one of the most inspiring public diplomacy programs that the State Department sponsors: The Secretary’s International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award. This annual two-week IVLP honors a visionary group of women for their respective work in advancing women’s rights all over the world. Continue  

Lady Liberty and Mother India

This is the first blog in a series highlighting Meridian’s programs with India, both domestic and abroad. Each month a different department will select and share a project that represents our work with the world’s largest democracy. The series culminates in June with Meridian’s third annual cultural diplomacy forum, this year focusing on India.

Indian Women by Joshua Song

March 8th marks International Women’s Day, a global call to action for all to support women’s rights and gender equality. We use this day to remind us of the great amount of work still yet the be accomplished in respect to these issues, including wage parity, political representation, trafficking, and abuse. A complex case study, India is a nation with its fair share of triumphs and difficulties in respect to women’s rights. Women have held the posts of president and prime minister in India, yet the country remains lowly ranked in the Global Gender Gap Report.

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“The Let Girls Learn U.S. Exchange Program” by Bochra Laghssais, A Moroccan Participant

First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama invited 22 Moroccan girls and 22 Liberian girls to the White House for the premiere of the CNN documentary We Will Rise on October 11, the International Day of the Girl. I was one of the Moroccan girls invited to Washington D.C. as part of First Lady Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” initiative. The White House visit was a follow-up to First Lady Obama’s visit to Liberia and Morocco in June 2016, during which we Moroccan girls participated in a roundtable discussion on the challenges young girls face in order to continue...

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Expanding the Impact of Women Entrepreneurs in Africa

Each year U.S. missions nominate leading women entrepreneurs from sub-Saharan Africa to participate in the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). AWEP was launched in 2010 to bolster the economic impact on women entrepreneurs during the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. This post was written by Elizabeth Barry and Mark Rebstock. Continue  

Student Exchange for Global Change

The U.S.-Pakistan Global Leadership and STEM Program brought ten innovative young women from across the globe to explore what is out there and waiting for them. By excelling in academia, the students from the Army Public Schools and Colleges of Pakistan had the opportunity not just to explore, but to question and to learn about culture, science, and methods around the world. I can’t believe it’s been one week since the end of the 2016 U.S.-Pakistan Global Leadership and STEM Program. This seventeen day program made me more conscious about the way I could have a career in the...

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