This past summer, I was a recipient of a CIIS grant, allowing me to complete research in Washington, D.C. Why D.C? I was fortunate enough to gain an internship with The World Bank, placing me to be in the hub of policy making. During my nine-week internship, I decided to engage in research concerning the importance of women in policy in developing countries. I was able to gain access to a variety of resources, engage in conversations with experienced policy-makers, and learn quite a lot regarding the discourse about women and economic development policies due to my presence in the bank.
I have an interest in economics, “developing” countries, and women. This is why it was no surprise to me or others that I was interested in ways in which economic development policies affect women in areas of the world such as Nigeria, my place of birth. As a result, I decided to combine my various areas of study so as to understand just how economic policies include and affect the everyday lives of women in the global south.
With my internship at the bank, I had access to works I would otherwise have to pay for, attended several talks and events regarding women and policy, and was able to partake in priceless conversations with experts in the field of economic policy. I was able to learn ways in which policy-makers think through this topic of inclusive policy making, various tools that have been put in place by individuals who are as concerned as I am regarding women and policies.
Surprisingly, I never heard about safeguards during my prior research and a lot of individuals I spoke with and works I explored mentioned economic safeguards as ways in which policy-makers have attempted to put groups like women into consideration while enacting various policies. This is one of the few ways in which experience allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the topic, narrow the scope of my research further and begin to explore next steps.
I value this experience as it gave me the opportunity to explore my interests in a practical manner and to engage in conversations with individuals who are usually theoretical aspects of my education. Through this experience, I now have a clearer image of my future goals and aspirations, as well as ways in which I hope to combine my various interests.
For this, I am very grateful and thank the Center for International and Intercultural Studies. Not only for providing me with the opportunity to explore a topic that means a lot to me, but also for allowing me to be exposed to individuals with the same interests and granting me the opportunity to further understand this topic, and where I would like to go with it in the future.