As an intern for United Methodist Women, yesterday I had the opportunity to attend, along with the visiting delegates, the orientation for Ecumenical Women for the 57th annual Commission on the Status of Women.
One exiting portion was that we were able to hear Lakshmi Puri speak. Michelle Bachelet was meant to speak but was unable to attend, and Ms. Puri was sent in her place, which was no disappointment. Ms. Puri has a very impressive resume, and she currently serves as the Deputy Director of United Nations Women. Her speech truly animated the women in the crowd and the words really did resonate with me. A common issue that surfaced on Friday among the delegates was that often there is a disconnect between policy and its actual execution. Puri said many interesting things to this point. She spoke about the importance of bridging the gap between policy and implementation. She also discussed the current initiatives headed by UN Women that are turning ideas into action.
On a more personal level, Puri spoke about some of the issues facing her home country, India. This was a goal of the Ecumenical women as well; to use personal stories and experiences to influence policy in an effective way. Her speech was very inspiring, and I am glad that we were able to hear her speak. In fact, when it was time for lunch, no one wanted to leave the room! Overall, an inspirational speech and a fantastic send- off into the next week at the CSW!