Checking In With The U.S. – Pakistan Global Leadership and STEM Program

The U.S. – Pakistan Global Leadership and STEM Program is an exchange program that engages ten female Pakistani students in a variety of leadership building and STEM-focused educational activities. During their stay, students participated in an immersive nanotechnology curriculum at SUNY Polytechnic institute. When I arrived at the 4H Center a little over a week ago, I was greeted by a room full of exuberant smiles. Ten Pakistani girls, having just touched down from their respective hometowns the night before, were clustered at the long tables pulled together in the meeting room. They literally sparkled, clothed in traditional shalwar...

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International Justice Day: Celebrating Meridian’s Impact

As the world celebrates International Justice Day, a light shines on the grievous abuses of human rights that are perpetrated by violent extremism in all reaches of the globe. On July 17th 1998, 120 states from a diverse coalition of regions voted in favor of the Rome Statute which established the International Criminal Court (ICC). The overwhelming universal support for the statute signified the international community’s desire for a more secure and just future. Continue  

Art for Gender Equality in Mumbai, India

Every March 8th is International Women’s Day, a celebration of women around the world that takes place during Women’s History Month. While Meridian organizes exchanges for women leaders in various fields, for the past two years the Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy has used the arts – specifically the mural arts –  to directly address issues such as human trafficking, gender-based violence, empowerment, equality, and education that affect women and girls around the world. Continue  

Not Women’s Issues: 8 Films about Women Leaders around the World

Stemming from a long history of marginalizing women, mainstream media and international leaders rely heavily on the categorization of issues as “women’s issues” when discussing problems such as inequalities in education, inclusion of women in decision making, and gender violence. In the same way as women, societal problems that are categorized as “women’s issues” are considered of secondary concern to the growth of society. “Women’s issues” should be framed human rights issues because they are the manifestation of deeper structural and cultural inequalities that affect the entire population and often result in violence. While mainstream media portrays women as...

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“#SheBelieves”: Sports Diplomacy’s Ability to Empower Women Athletes Worldwide

American soccer fans cheered loudly Sunday night as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Japan in a 5 – 2 win, bringing the FIFA World Cup trophy home for the first time in 16 years. More than 20 million viewers tuned in to watch the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship match, shattering TV rating records for soccer in the process. In light of the work done here at Meridian International Center, this victory is also an opportunity to bring attention to the mission and goals of sports diplomacy: a way for the universal passion for sports to bring people of different linguistic and sociocultural backgrounds together. Utilizing sports diplomacy, the U.S. Department of State and its partners have expressed an active commitment to empowering women and girls in sports around the world.

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