Self-determined youth brighten the future of the world

Priyanka Chopra, Kamala Harris on suffrage, abortion laws and more
This story was updated on October 11, 2022, at 00.45 hours

Priyanka Chopra with US Vice President Kamala Harris (Instagram image)

Praneeta Mahajan
Hamilton, October 10, 2022

After a successful address at the UN General Assembly, Priyanka Chopra Jonas moderated a session at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington on October 7, 2022, during which she held a conversation with US Vice President Kamala Harris on various issues, including abortion laws, pay parity, and gun reforms in America.

Priyanka had cheered for Ms Harris when she became the first Female Vice President in the history of the U.S. During her appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, she said, “It was such an emotional moment for a lot of my friends and family but coming from a country like India which has seen several women in governance, whether it is President, Prime Minister. You know, welcome to the club, America. That is what I will say. High time, I hope this is not the last.”

India Connect

During her address at the White House, she started by reminiscing on how India had already seen female leaders, from twice-elected Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to the Current President Draupadi Murmu, and said it was baffling how the US had still not shattered the final glass ceiling of having a female US President.

She emphasised the importance of using our right to vote. She said that while she is not voting in the US, her daughter would one-day vote in the country.

Priyanka then welcomed Ms Harris and went on to say they were both daughters of India.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas addresses the gathering at the White House (Instagram image)

US and issues that are concerning

Priyanka said that the US was known to be the beacon of hope, freedom and choice. But issues like pay parity, marriage equality & reproductive rights were still required to be addressed.

Ms Harris replied by saying that recent events surrounding these very issues have caused distress and anger on the part of the society which was paying attention and caring. She said the fight for civil rights needs to be fought with every generation as any gains made are not permanent by the very nature of it. But there is a sense of optimism, as time and again, people have come together and worked out a way forward, to make society better.

Message to Young Women

When asked, Ms Harris said that her message to young women across the world was to “Dream with Ambition.” She said that as a society, we need to encourage ambition and tell our young minds, especially women that we applauded it. She said young people do not have to be apologetic in dreaming and believing in themselves.

She said nations around the World need to feed the sense of possibilities, regardless of gender. We need to tell the youth that there is no limit to what one can do.

Ms Harris went on to say that one should and can measure the strength of a democracy based on the status of women in that democracy. It is a universal conversation and needs to take place in every sphere of life.

Talking about women in leadership roles, she said “You will often find yourself as the only one walking into a room as a woman. But you are never alone as you carry many voices of women like you. So never let the room hold you down. You stand for something and it is very important to have your say and hold your ground.”

Praneeta Chopra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Zealand Connection

In regards to abortion rights, Ms Harris said that in the US, certain leaders were “punishing women for being women” and it was urgency to address these matters before they had global repercussions using the US as a role model. The US currently has abortion banned in 13 states as laws restricting the procedure take effect following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The situation is the polar opposite of New Zealand, where a recent amendment was made to decriminalise abortion. Under the act, abortion is available without restrictions to any woman who is not more than 20 weeks pregnant.

Many young people in New Zealand still feel like there are many issues they would like to be addressed, and it is important for every global citizen, especially young people, to see how the world stage is changing with strong voices from women leaders being heard and acknowledged.

Praneeta Mahajan is Indian Newslink Reporter based in Hamilton

 

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