In April 2018, we had the pleasure of welcoming Ms. Mel Reyes, the Deputy Director of Miriam College’s Women and Gender Institute in the Philippines, to Utah on our Multi-Regional Project: Women in Politics Program. One of Ms. Reyes’s goals is increasing women’s involvement in the peace process and post-peace reconstruction in Mindanao. She actively accomplishes this by contributing to ASEAN reports on trafficking, child protection, and gender-based violence, as well as being a member of the Philippine Commission on Women's National Gender Resource Pool, a group of experts who provide gender equality and integration training throughout the Philippines.
When Ms. Reyes arrived in Salt Lake City, she instantly fell in love with our city and was captivated by the beautiful scenery around her. Throughout the program, we showed how other programs and efforts encourage women and how women positively affect politics. She was particularly engaged with the discussions she had with Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Representative Karen Kwan. "Their stories of struggle and aspirations in dealing with issues of intersectionality were truly inspiring, and a testimony that more women in positions of power results in better politics."
Ms. Reyes ends with sharing that out of all the places she visited on her International Visitor Leadership Program, Salt Lake City was the highlight, and that our city is a place that she would love to return to in the future. We at UCCD hope that her experiences here will add to her overall goals and ambition in creating a better world with women in politics.