March 8th was the centennial of International Women’s day (1911-2011). International Women’s Day (IWD) was honored the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on the 19th of March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating 8th of March as International Women’s Day.
As a Peace Corps Volunteer this is a day often celebrated by volunteers and their communities with activities that honor women’s contributions to their families, communities and countries. This year’s 100th Anniversary theme is: Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women!
Activities that is popular with volunteers include: Essay and poster contests about women students admire, day‐long women’s fairs with skills‐building activities, games and music, Certificate presentations for girls who are outstanding in some way, parades, dances and community dinners with speakers on different topics of interest to women and families, Painted murals featuring International Women’s Day ,Bike rides, races and walks to raise awareness of women’s rights and/or contributions to their country.
Volunteers are highly encouraged to participate in activities to show support for women and their community. Since being a 3rd year volunteer I do not know this my new community as well as I did my last so, instead of planning something myself, I participated in a 8k(4miles) bike race, presentation of women’s groups, women’s health demonstration/talk. The event was organized by the women of my household. She did such a great job!!!!!
The event I participated in was the 8k bike race. I came in 7th out of 12th. The event was excruciating. I was running late, so I didn’t get to eat or put on sun screen, and of course the event started late, so instead of biking at 8am, we biked at 10am. It was already burning up, needless to say I got quite red. After that event was over, I sat through different women’s groups talking about their own projects to empower themselves. At the end the ceremony I watched women perform traditional dancing. I did not partake in the all women’s soccer tourney, because I was on the brink of dying.
Starting line Being cheered on by my village