CGIU 2012 Attendee

Ayesha Khan on her experience at Clinton Global Initiative University

Being at the CGIU made me realize the impact good ideas, no matter how small, can make.  The CGIU weekend was one filled with inspiration, motivation and optimistic enthusiasm. Watching so many young individuals take concrete steps to address global challenges filled me with hope. As long as we have people that not only understand the world’s problems but are actually willing to do something about it, we can count on the world being a much better place. If you are one of those people that feel strongly about a certain global challenge and are willing to commit to addressing it, then CGIU is the perfect opportunity for you. Not only will you meet likeminded people at the conference, and be able to network with them, you will also be able to learn how to make your commitment work.

Ayesha Khan’s Commitment to Action:
A 2010 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit cited Pakistan’s score on the *Women’s Economic Opportunity ranking to be a dismal 29.9, one of the lowest in the region. According to International human development indicators, the Gender Inequality Index of Pakistan is 0.573. Despite being one of the few countries to have high-ranking women political leaders, roles still remain diminished for women in Pakistan. There is enough room for change in the society if women have the frame of mind to do it. I believe that the first step toward women empowerment has to be taken by the women themselves. And the best way to start that process is before the girl grows up to become a woman. Therefore, there is a high need for girls to have positive images and influences throughout life so that they can set ambitious goals and strive to achieve them. Hence, I commit to an educational, media and social networking campaign called ‘Meri Khwaish (My Wish) – I am a girl and I aspire to be …’ Meri Khwaish (My Wish) – will be a first of its kind educational non-profit media and social networking campaign geared toward girl empowerment in Pakistan. As part of the campaign I aim to create a girl character ‘Aisha’ that will be influenced by but not entirely based on strong and independent Pakistani women leaders. Through my campaign my goal is to have a long-term impact on the lives of young girls in Pakistan, helping them improve their self-esteem by appreciating who they are, respecting their own individuality and recognizing their rights.

As a student, you have a lot of power to bring the change that you want to see in our world. With the help of the CGIU network, you can bring your ideas into action and come up with the most innovative solutions to the world’s biggest problems. Are you ready to commit to a civic cause this year?


*Women’s economic opportunity - A new pilot index and global ranking from the Economist Intelligence Unit , The Economist , 2010