International Women’s Day celebrated by the Women of Jaisinghpura Village in Rajasthan

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on 8 March every year throughout the world. It is observed as a sign of women empowerment, celebrating the “economic, political and social achievements of women’s past, present and future”. This year in 2014, the United Nations (UN) celebrated the IWD under the theme of “Equality for women is progress for all”. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon categorically proclaimed: "Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all."

This time the women of Jaisinghpura were also on the forefront to mark the IWD on 8 March. They seized this international day to celebrate their achievements and shown the resolve to keep this pace of empowerment uninterrupted and intact. They celebrated the IWD in a very emphatic manner. Euphoria of the celebration echoed across the sky. These were those women who were earlier incarcerated in the so-called social norms and values and who turned their lives from just living inside the four walls of the house under ‘ghoonghat’ or veils till their chin to working women who not only support their families but also work for bringing about a similar change in the lives of other women. Now, they can take decision which affects their lives on their own. After the training and awareness they received from SIDART, they are more confident and open. In other words, they feel emancipated from the clutches of patriarchal system.

The village women welcomed the whole SIDART team and Panchayat Members with local welcome songs and then the event started with a formal welcome speech by Dr. Pramila Sanjaya. The village volunteers were then given a chance to talk about their success stories in front of the gatherings at the venue. All the women at the venue felt proud of their contributions as a woman to the society and of their successful efforts towards the progress made in the village.

The Women’s Day (Mahila Diwas), was organised by the SIDART team (Mrs Neeraj Kumar, Dr Pramila Sanjaya, Mr. Radhamohan Sharma) in collaboration with village volunteers (Mrs Krishna Devi, Mrs Suraj Devi Jangid and Mrs Indra) on the sidelines of HSF-SIDART programme on Village Health Sanitation & Nutrition Committee. Mr. Michele from the CBC Television and Mrs. Marie, a SIDART Intern from Canada, were also present there. Besides, the elected women representative of Jaisinghpura, Sarpanch Phoola Devi and around 30 women of the village participated in the grand event.

The SIDART coordinators and the Panchayat members awarded certificates to all the village volunteers for their achievements and successful efforts in bringing about the changes in society. A thank you note was given by Dr. Pramila Sanjaya, on behalf of the entire SIDART team. All the village volunteers and the rural women acknowledged, celebrated and enjoyed their womanhood through this event, thereby making SIDART’s Mahila Diwas, a successful venture.

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