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International Women’s Day
March 8, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on 8 March, is a day that commemorates the strengths and achievements of women. Women from different parts of the world come together on this day to celebrate one another and rally for equal treatment and representation, working towards a common goal of achieving a gender-equal world. The theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias – A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
At Good Shepherd Centre (GSC), we also gathered our women and children who come from different parts of the world to commemorate this day through a 2-part celebration and activities. The programme participants (residents) were first introduced to the International Women’s Day through informative slides on the first day. They were then guided to imagine how a world without biases, stereotypes and discrimination would look like and to create this imagined world onto a canvas board.
One programme participant, Nelly shared about her point of view that women are equally capable of doing what men does, such as playing soccer. She recalled about how she encountered biasness in her secondary school days when a group of boys were playing soccer and she wanted to join but received negative comments about how soccer is a sport for boys.
Nelly was unmoved and started dribbling the soccer ball like an experienced player. This incident left her feeling empowered as a woman as she received compliments and proved to her peers that women can be equally capable as men. She translated these into her artwork and designed it based on her belief that women can lead an independent life and have a successful career and should not be confined to staying at home as a mother due to her gender. Other programme participants also drew about their imagined world where women are treated with love and respect.
The second part of the celebration conducted on another day was filled with joy and laughter, where the women and children from GSC were gathered to have fun and relax on this day. The celebration began with games related to music such as dancing to the music and musical chairs. They bonded through these games even though some of them could not communicate through a common spoken language, and were all enthusiastic and participative.
After the exciting time moving their bodies to the music, the programme participants were invited to a make-up session where they were given the option to put on the make-up themselves or with the help of a staff. Some women shared that the last time they put on make-up was during their wedding, while others shared that they usually only put on make-up for the purpose of work. This session then acts not only as a form of self-care for the women but was also an opportunity for them to get dolled up and to feel confident about themselves, for just themselves.
The day concluded with a sponsored meal for the Programme Participants, and they all shared that they had enjoyed themselves throughout the activities. It was certainly heartwarming to witness the resilience and strength of the women, as well as to come together to celebrate collectively despite the differences in our background on this day. The Programme Participants of GSC also wish everyone a very Happy International Women’s Day.