“I wish to be remembered as someone who cared for people”, was my introduction while sharing my story with the 50 other wonderful women in the WPSP program. As a child, my parents told me to grow up and be somebody who helped those who were systematically disadvantaged. To support those who did not have the economic or legal roof to protect them. My own perspectives developed to encompass that and a lot more. After reading Dr Yunus’s Banker to the Poor I dreamed of sending poverty into the museum and changing the fates of the millions affected by inequality. In time I realised, even the best development programs and economic plans had flaws. I wished to work on those and make sure they address the needs of the people who they are made for. I wish to pursue further research into microcredit systems and the other development programs such as Food for Education and make them more comprehensive – to fill in the loop holes.
I see my future in international policy making. I have already studied gender and politics long enough to understand how policies require review and amendments to ensure gender sensitization is implemented and system biases against women are removed. Leaders in power have conformed to regularized notions of laws and public policy for too long and that has aided individuals and institutions to further propagate gender discrimination. I wish to bring positive social change from the bottom up as well as the top down. Only when the two curves meet will we have set the stage for true development. I learned at the Women in Public Service Project that policy making is more about understanding people through their perspectives than making the most economic decision. I have worked with social workers, human rights lawyers, mothers, children and civil society leaders to amend and review the Children’s Law in Bangladesh. This experience has given me firsthand knowledge of how intricate and complex the process of policy making is, and I wish to perfect that.
I envision a world where constructive dialogue is the one and only solution – never wars. Where governments are accountable and mandates are made real. I wish to be one of the leaders who instill the fair democracy and governance that the youth dreams of today. I dream of justice.
I was introduced to World Pulse at AUW. This is the same place that has the ambitious yet commendable aim to bring change through women’s leadership. This is that one place where you walk through the hallways and know that this future is not too far. And so, even as I entered myself to the Voices of the Future program four weeks ago, I knew I wanted to write for change, to write as an activist. The AUW spirit instilled in me the belief in the power of words – solidified something that I had known all along. I wish to write to connect people to the world, to tell stories of struggle, stories of diligence and stories of freedom. I wish to represent my country in the right light. I wish to take my people and their spirit to every country in the world. I wish to bring focus to the problems and the solutions. All that I wish to do with my words and my actions. For all that, I need to learn more about the world, from the people who are actively participating in similar endeavors. I need mentors and a community of leaders to guide me and that is what I have found at AUW and at World Pulse.
Ten years from now, I hope I read this article again and smile. I hope I will have started on this path of enlightenment and contributed to good. I will remember all those who held my hand on the way, and all my mentors will certainly be the first I think of.