Quality education, good jobs, and safety in public places. These are the most basic hopes of every community. Councilwoman Jamie Gauthier spends every day using her voice to seek fairness, equality, and justice in neighborhoods throughout the city. Born-and-raised in West Philadelphia, Councilmember Gauthier brings a unique perspective to politics – as an urban planner with decades of advocacy work and as a mother of two. Women have an important role to play in changing our world.
In September, amidst the busy election season, Jamie volunteered to speak with a virtual International Visitor Leadership Program of brilliant women from Jordan, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates to discuss Women in the Political Process. Lebanon leads the way in the discussion of women’s roles in Middle Eastern politics, appointing 6 new cabinet members at the start of this year. Despite these strides to enhance the role of women, there is always room for more women’s voices in politics – throughout the Middle East and the U.S. too.
Reflecting on the current difficult state of our city and country, Jamie said, “It’s one of the darkest times, but we can rethink all of this if we want to, and that gives me hope.”
Councilmember Gauthier talked candidly about her experiences running for office and offered her encouragement to run for political positions. “Go for it … If you work hard enough, I feel that this is an advantageous time.“
Through virtual IVLP, the U.S. Department of State creates opportunities for women around the world to learn from each other and acquire the tools they need to participate in politics. While there will be no in-person IVLP participants visiting the U.S. until March 2021, IVLP is underway virtually!
Because of your gifts, leaders are able to exchange ideas and experiences with their peers by joining Diplomacy and Dialogue virtual programs. Over 400 participants from five continents have participated in 30 conversations since April. Each of our international friends has remarked how valuable it has been to have Philadelphia reach out and connect.