The importance of women in the world and social activism was highlighted at convocation by key speaker, Kavita Ramdas.
Ramdas who is President and C.E.O. of the Global Fund for Women, spoke about the struggles women from all over the world have overcome.
“From bound feet to corsets women have forged their own paths,” she said.
Ramdas emphasized women’s leadership especially now in times where there are “misguided priorities.”
She highlighted the United States withdrawal of $34 million dollars from the U.N. Population Fund, which supports women around the world.
She also noted that 80 percent of refugees around the world were women and children.
While many starve, money is being spent on wars instead, she said.
“I always thought there were plenty of people out there saving women and working towards equality,” said freshwoman Jeanette Rousek.
“But after Kavita’s speech I realized there are many more women and children in distress than there are relief workers, and even a little bit of effort on my part would make a big difference.”
Ramdas also talked about the importance of social movements such as labor, environment, and the global women’s movement.
She gave examples on how terror and violence haven’t deterred women. She cited one Bay Area woman who is raising money to help women in Afghanistan.
Ramdas urged everyone to be leaders by getting involved in one’s neighborhood or school as a starting place.
“Just participating in elections is an act of leadership,” said Ramadas.
“I was really touched and motivated to go out and do something,” said sophomore Sarah Wigdor.
Freshwoman Kelsi Johnson said that she appreciated that Ramdas’ speech made the daunting task seem tangible.