IWCB Cultural Exchange Program, Thursday, March 08, 2012
The Cultural Meeting of Thursday March 08, 2012 fell on INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’s DAY. It was a fortunate coincidence and we took the opportunity to talk about the heroic women who paved the way for the freedoms we take for granted in our everyday life.
The Cultural Program was attended by the following IWCB Members:
Eileen B, Farida K, Doris C, Robin G, Maria V, Lalitha R, Sandra C, Brigitte F, Brigitte K, Marie-Alice G, Nancy S, Linda Z, Ann B.
Marie-Alice designed an IWCB Banner. Everyone present signed it. It is a work in progress which Marie-Alice will continue to decorate. She wants to include quotes that are meaningful to the members and invites you to send her your favorite quotes. The banner will be circulated and all members will have an opportunity to sign the banner at one of the event.
The International Women’s Day Lunch as usual was an enjoyable social event. The potluck menu consisted of chicken salad & croissants, savory tofu nuggets, cocktail meatballs, toast with goat cheese & pepper jam, bagels & hummus, forbidden rice, faro salad, sushi,rice cakes, banana bread with walnuts, lemon squares, lemon poppy seed loaf, cookies and coffee.
In honor of IWD, the program was a celebration of the lives of both contemporary and historic women who were strong outspoken leaders and influencers.
Lalitha introduced the program by narrating briefly the history of International Women’s Day (IWD). To get a comprehensive history of the IWD movement and its activities around the globe today, Lalitha encourages you to please visit their page.
Did you know that since 2000, IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia? The tradition sees men honoring their mothers, wives, girlfriends and colleagues with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
Lalitha then spoke of her childhood experience. As an ex-pat child, Lalitha was born in India and raised in Europe, in a very loving but very protective patriarchal home environment. She reflected on the constraints she struggled and grew up with just because she was a female. She did not enjoy the same freedoms as her brothers and European and American classmates. Today, living in the US as a self-actualized adult, she never takes for granted the liberties she enjoys, basic liberties which, in 2012, are still denied to women in many countries across the world.
She then introduced the first speaker, Maria V. Maria spoke about eight Spanish women in history who paved the way to equal rights in Spain. What follows are the stories of these extraordinary women who Maria admires greatly.
1. Clara Campoamor
2. Elisabeth I of Trastamara
3. Beatriz Galindo
4. Eleanor of Castile
5. Juana de Leon
6. Agustina of Aragon
7. Maria Moliner
8. Margarita Salas
Linda Z. was the second speaker for the program. She spoke passionately about her heroine, Eve Ensler who is an activist on a mission to end violence against women and girls.
Thank you and see you all soon!