International Women’s Day
March 8th is annually recognized as International women’s Day, which celebrates the achievements of women in the political, social, economic, and cultural development of society. This day also recognises the challenges which affect women and girls worldwide, and aims to support the efforts to overcome these challenges. Since the 1910s, International Women’s Day has been celebrated and continues to grow for greater gender equality, women’s empowerment, and the human rights of all women and girls.
The 2018 theme for International Women’s Day is: “Time is Now. Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”
Globally there is an unprecedented movement for women’s rights, equality and justice, which has inspired the International Women’s Day theme for this year. In all settings, women have been facing challenges, from girls and young women having fewer opportunities than their male counterparts to pursue higher education in rural areas, to sexual harassment in professional spheres of urban societies; the latter prompting the “#MeToo” campaign which has been gaining greater attention in recent years. Activists have played a major role in ensuring that the voices of women affected by inequality have been heard and that action is taken to bring justice for the women who are often ignored. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is complemented by a campaign theme “#PressforProgress” which promotes actions for progress toward greater gender parity.
What can you do?
There are a number of activities taking place in Saint Lucia to commemorate International Women’s Day 2018, which are open to the public. These include but are not limited to:
- An exhibition of female Saint Lucian Authors from 1st to 29th March at the Blue Coral Mall in Castries
- An All White Demonstration and “We March” event on 8th March in the city of Castries, to press for legislation which would minimize violence and abuse against women and girls, address the issues of income inequality, and promote social and judicial reform. For more information, see the We March event page
- A Women’s Empowerment and Youth Development Summit hosted by the Aspire Artemis foundation on 6th to 9th at the Ministry of Infrastructure Union Complex. This summit will also include leadership exercises and simulations for participants. For more information about this event, see the UNICEF Caribbean post
- A showcase of sewing projects by the women who participated in the Saint Lucia Crisis Centre training programme, taking place in the Crisis Centre’s headquarters on Chausee Road. This showcase is open to the public and all are invited to show support for the work of the women and Saint Lucia Crisis Centre’s initiatives
- A Showcase of Rural and Urban Women Entrepreneurs from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm on 8th March at Constitution Park, hosted by St Joseph’s Convent, Saint Lucia Network of Rural Women Producers, and the Department of Gender Relations
- A pre-launch of an Entrepreneurship fund for Women in Difficult situations at Constitution park at 9:30 am on 8th March
- A Women’s Forum hosted by She.lc in collaboration with the Department of Gender Relations at the Cultural Development Foundation Conference Room on 9th March
- The Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk through Castries on 10th March hosted by the Celestial Self Development Centre from 3pm to 6pm, starting from the Centre’s carpark on Chaussee Road. For more information, visit the event page for the walk.
- A Women’s Day Service at the Grande Riviere Church of the Nazarene from 10:30 am on 11th March
- A Women’s Symposium and Exhibition on 11th March from 3pm at the Clendon Mason Memorial Secondary School
- A Sexual Harassment Workshop for Youth on 17th March at NSDC Vieux Fort
- The Clothes Line Project event taking place all day on the Derek Walcott Square from 21st to 23rd March