Town Hall with Secretary General
In this photo from left to right is Cara Pugh (me), Caitlyn Grimes, Joel Tinkler, and Beth Dehghan. As you can see from our smiles we are thrilled because we are in the front row of the ECOSOC chamber to see the Secretary General of the entire United Nations. As some of the fellows put it, he is like the president of the UN. It was great to hear his report regarding gender equality in the UN. As a U.S. citizen this was also a great time to listen to questions from others representing many nations, many agendas, and many struggles. Simply to sit in that room and see first hand how issues are brought to the UN leaders was extremely powerful.
Meeting the Minister of Education from Saudi Arabia was one of the highlights of my trip this past week. She was truly a force to be reckoned with and with every eloquent answer she gave, she put the academic and social wellbeing of women and girls at the forefront. It was an honor to ask her about the cultural sharing of nations during the panel discussion. In her answer she mentioned that gaining new perspectives and sharing cultural practices is one of the main purposes of education and travel. She also helped implement policies that allow women to travel with their families when studying abroad so that "women never have to choose between education and their families." That policy shows with actions the importance of educating women, the opportunity is equitable and well thought out to ensure that the "opportunity" to learn is not simply a dream but instead, a reality for women and girls who chose to start families and educate themselves as well.
Finally, to everyone who made this trip possible, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to take advantage of an international event such as CSW. This time at the UN was beautiful because it was truly a time to have pride in being a woman, a Black woman, and a U.S. citizen. I feel proud that so many powerful men and women came together to continue our work toward gender equity in my lifetime. I feel energized and prepared to continue this work. Thank you! And I challenge everyone reading to continue the journey toward your own understanding of gender equity and racial equity. We're all needed to make positive change. I'll be holding us all accountable!
-Cara Pugh, 2018