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  Home arrow News arrow Highlights of the Women’s Day celebration
Highlights of the Women’s Day celebration
07 April 2011
In celebration of 100 years of International Women’s Day this year, two WFTO members commemorated the creative and innovative efforts of the outstanding women in their initiatives. 

Member Sasha celebrated International Women’s day this past March with an event honoring the women of rural India, who have overcome many obstacles to become entrepreneurs. The event honored these women who have taken a stand to change the socio-economic and cultural constraints that their society has placed before them.  Sasha has empowered these artisans by utilizing and building their traditional skills and facilitating their access to services such as marketing, finance, insurance, and education.  

WFTO member Development Wheel, collaborated with 60 partners in promoting the realization of equality for women, has led the We Can Campaign. DEW has worked to put their slogan into action- Equality in Education, Training, Science and Technology: Ensure Equal Honor for Women. The objective of the project is to establish networks and platforms to strengthen and uphold women’s rights in every aspect of society. 

april_sasha.jpgBoth activities took place on 8 March.  The Sasha event kicked off with a screening of a documentary film featuring ‘Women in Fair Trade’, which was created for an international project for Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) in collaboration with Fair Trade Forum- India. WIEGO is a global research- policy network that seeks to improve the status of the working poor, especially women. Through action research, WIEGO works to demonstrate how marginalized workers have organized collective forms of enterprise to engage with local and global markets. The film focuses on how Fair Trade’s practices have created prosperity through empowering and providing livelihood opportunities for women. The documentary features the women’s individual stories as they explain the trials and triumphs they faced with continuous support from Sasha. In their own words, each woman illustrates the common thread of determination and courage that connects them all together.
 

The event also featured a special group interaction with the producers and artisans, discussing various aspects of the women’s relationship with Sasha and Fair Trade. A representative from a local Bengali language newspaper, which focuses on development sectors and its issues, was present to partake in the discussion. An elaborate article will be published highlighting the event and the women’s discussions about their entrepreneurial enterprises. A special presentation of Shubha Kenworthy’s recent paintings and sculptures was on display for the celebration. The exhibit’s theme was centered around the goddess Kali, the symbol of feminine power. Kali and the third- eye are prominent features in Shubha’s work as a contemporary and modern artist.  

Sasha continues the global celebration of women by calling for awareness and equality in marginalized communities, all the while upholding the spirit and commitment to the Fair Trade movement. 

april_dew.jpgThe We Can Campaign, on the other hand, was celebrated with partner organizations in marking the observance of International Women’s Day with a candle lit breaking-down-the-darkness ceremony at the Townhall Shasheed Minar of Mymesingh.  The honorary Dr. K Zaman, the General Secretary of BNSB Hospital in Mymensingh was in attendance. Dr. Zaman was nationally awarded the title Shada Moner Manush meaning The Man with White Soul. In collaboration with the University of Dhaka, the We Can national alliance extended the candle lit ceremony to central Shadid Minar where three thousand men and women participated in expression of their support for the movement. 

The occasion’s festivities actually began a few hours before March 8th when five dignified women of the Mymensingh district were admired for their long established contribution toward fighting for women’s rights.  Honorees were Monju Rani Datta, Ferdousi Akter, Rowshan Ara Begum, Aasiya Khatun, and Prokrity Shudha Nath. Advocate A.H.M. Khalequzzaman served as chair and presided over the grand opening ceremony.  

As leader of the We Can Campaign, Development Wheel is focused on influencing the local community as well as government institutions and civil societies to fulfill their obligations of improving women’s rights.  The campaign will continue to organize events raising awareness and strengthening the collaboration of the movement. (By Danielle Finochiaro)
 
 
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