International Women’s Day

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International Women’s Day 2010

‘IT’S really about stepping back and understanding someone else’s plight,’ explains Edinburgh IWD organiser Jenna Sapiano, as she describes the aim of the capital’s contribution to International Women’s Day, taking place in the city this month.

‘IT’S really about stepping back and understanding someone else’s plight,’ explains Edinburgh IWD organiser Jenna Sapiano, as she describes the aim of the capital’s contribution to International Women’s Day, taking place in the city this month.

Now in its 100th year, this March marks the launch of the first global Join Me on the Bridge campaign, as part of the programme. Women from the two neighbouring African countries, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, will stand together in peace on a bridge linking the two countries to demand an end to war. In solidarity, the people of Edinburgh, alongside campaigners in the Sudan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and cities across the UK and the USA, will join together to help raise awareness to the plight of women. ‘It’s about standing together and celebrating the work that’s been done by women all over the world,’ says Sapiano.

The afternoon of activities on 8 March is, she says, as much about contemplation as it is celebration. Senegalese musician Samba Sene and Edinburgh drumming society DrumSoc will provide the music for the afternoon; elsewhere Zimbabwean Emmanuel Sairosi will read a collection of his poetry.

Talks will be held to help give people an overview of the ongoing conflicts inflicted on women throughout the world, with contributions from Sheila Kapungun, an Oxfam programme officer based in Zimbabwe; Janet Fenton, co-ordinator of the Edinburgh Peace & Justice and the secretary of the Scottish branch of Women’s international League for Peace and Freedom; Shirley-Anne Somerville, the MSP for Lothian; Gerda Siann, the Honorary Consul for Rwanda, as well as many more.

‘We’ve tried to bring together people who have all had very different experiences, because they will all offer fascinating – and very different – perspectives on women’s struggles, and their strengths in the face of adversity,’ explains Sapiano.

There will also be stalls selling food and jewellery. ‘It’s about keeping people aware but it’s also about people coming along, having fun and just celebrating the incredibly strong women that have come before us.’

As part of the celebrations, Women for Women International – collaborators with Independent Women’s Day – have teamed up with the Africa in Motion film festival to show award-winning Liberian documentary, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse Cinema on 5 March.

‘At every turn we want to make it as positive as possible,’ says Sapiano. ‘The film they are showing is really great and speaks so strongly of the power women can have. That’s the message we really want people to take away from this whole thing.’

Join Me On the Bridge for International Women’s Day, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, Mon 8 Mar, 12pm. For more on Women for Women International’s programmes around the world, see www.womenforwomen.org

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1. BORN 4 CARE13 Mar 2010, 8:11am Report

Dear Sir, We would like to Inform you about our Country\'s Programm about International Women\'s Day 2010. So please advise us how can we contribute with you. Thanking you. TAUHID

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