The WPSP Institute delegates were drawn from a pool of more than 600 applicants. These women leaders hold a wide range of professional positions, including roles in education, media, government, NGOs and humanitarian programs.

For Delegates: Please click here for access to the delegate-only website.

To learn more about the delegates, click on each name.

“The pains and scars women and children carry are not easily forgotten. But still the resilience, strength, and power of possibility make them move ahead.”

—Bushra Hyder, Pakistan

I Will Shine

Two strange hands,
an unwanted touch.
Struggling eyes,
Might, that momentarily couldn’t do much.

A battle lost,
A war yet to be fought,
Strength of a soul
that remains untouched.

Punish the guilty
Why blame the prey?
Why predict a dark future?
What fault was theirs?

Why associate honour, dignity and pride
Why make her feel  its almost like she died!
Why blame the dusk, the dress, the time
Why charge the wounded, why hide a crime?

The body may be bruised,
The soul no beast can destroy
For no fault of my own
Shall I be forced for life to cry?

Rise, shine, a war is waiting to be won.
Life is to be lived,
Darkness will soon sublime.
Have faith in the slowly rising sun.

Mariya Salim, India
Read at the “Activism and Change” presentation on
June 2 at Smith College.

Illustration by Jennifer Liang

Photo by Ashli Edwards