International Women’s Day 2009


Peace is inextricably linked with equality between women and men, and with development…If women are to play an equal part in securing and maintaining peace, they must be empowered politically and economically and represented adequately at all levels of decision-making.  (from Summary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action)


Inspired by the 1995 U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, our 14th Annual International Women’s Day event is designed to celebrate the diversity of Minnesota women and increase understanding and tolerance in our community; to encourage activism; and to highlight human rights issues that affect women and girls locally, nationally and internationally.  This year’s event includes a focus on women and war – how armed conflict impacts women’s lives and how women play a critical role in advancing peace around the world.  We welcome University of Minnesota Law School Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, who will provide a global perspective on international policies and practices on women in conflict and post-conflict situations, and Fahima Vorgetts, long-time activist on behalf of women in her home country, Afghanistan, and director of the Afghan Women’s Fund.  Their presentation will include a discussion of the effectiveness of UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008) as they relate to women, war, sexual violence, and peace-building.


Our 2009 theme, Transforming the World through Women’s Voices, highlights the critical role women play in creating a world of equality, non-violence and justice for all.  We will raise our voices in song with two local musicians as we begin the day and continue to speak out in the many workshops addressing human rights issues of women and girls.  At the end of the day, we will view a segment of “We Will Harbor You,” a locally-produced film that portrays the activism of Minnesota women who broke the silence around domestic violence and gave birth to the battered women’s shelter movement.


Join us as we celebrate the many signs of hope and strength that women’s voices bring to a world yearning for peace and justice.


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