GRÓ GEST Fellows Meet the President of Iceland

16 May 2023
GRÓ GEST Fellows Meet the President of Iceland

The 2023 GEST fellows were invited by the President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, to his official residence yesterday. The President and Eliza Reid, the First Lady, gave the fellows a warm welcome, highlighting the importance of advancing gender equality.

The President and the First Lady learned about the fellows‘ experience of the GEST programme in Iceland as Aditi Ambarishbhai Rindani from India and Winifred Ikilai from Uganda introduced this year‘s GEST fellows on behalf of the cohort. They talked about their diverse areas of expertise, their ambitions, and the challenges that they encountered when arriving in Iceland. Being in a group of 23 passionate gender equality experts from 16 different cultures in one classroom almost every day was, indeed, challenging at first, but the fellows saw it as an important part of their learning experience. Aditi and Winifred also reflected on the different modules of the academic programme, the final projects that the fellows have been working on during the semester and how the fellows hope to use the GEST experience to enhance gender equality in their home countries.

At the meeting, the President and the First Lady received several gifts from the fellows. Nirmala Maharjan from Nepal gave the President a gift on behalf of the three Nepalese fellows; Saahithiyanan Ganeshanathan and Priskila Arulpragasam gave the President a souvenir from Sri Lanka; Sana Salim Lokhandwala gave a bracelet supporting menstrual health for girls in Pakistan, and Akhil Neelam shared a book entitled Worth Asking, which he co-edited and includes conversations with political leaders about women's careers and men's allyship in Indian politics.

After the presentations, the fellows had the opportunity to converse with the President and the First Lady who offered them coffee and delicious Icelandic pancakes.