Crown Counsel Jihan Williams is presently in the United States for a three-week visit where she will explore programs that empower young girls and women.
Ms. Williams is one of 18 candidates from around the world selected for an International Visitor Leadership Program on the theme “Education and Activism for Young Women" funded by the U.S. Department of State. The group of 17 women and one man hail from the four corners of the globe, including Afghanistan, Sudan, Russia and Korea, among other nations.
Ms. Williams and other candidates will crisscross the United States on a packed schedule of visits, going from Washington D.C. and its suburbs in Virginia and Maryland to Los Angeles, Albuquerque and finally to New Orleans.
In Washington D.C. she will meet with federal government officials who work on girls’ and women’s empowerment issues, including representatives from the White House Council on Women and Girls and the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women's Issues.
The IVLP group will also examine girls’ empowerment issues such as preventing teen pregnancy and getting more girls into the sciences on a local and community level by visiting girls’ empowerment NGOs. The groups they will visit range from the traditional such as the Girl Scouts to the modern such as GlobalGirl Media in L.A. which provides equipment, education and support to help young women bridge the gender digital divide.
Through in-depth discussions and meetings, Ms. Williams and her colleagues will look at how to cultivate leadership in young females and explore how creative partnerships between nongovernmental organizations and government agencies can address issues of concern to girls and women.
Speaking ahead of her trip, Ms. Williams, who runs a girls’ mentorship program in St. Kitts was looking forward to the learning opportunity of the fellowship.
“I want to network with persons in the U.S. who have had successful mentorship programs for young girls. I’d like to learn about NGO building and management. That’s something I don’t have any training in and I would love to develop my own group to a national and then regional and then international level so I’m really looking forward to that aspect,” she said.
The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. The program brings together emerging leaders in their respective professions to learn how U.S. experts in their professions operate, and to share best practices with the other program fellows who hail from across the globe.