Mark your calendars for International Women’s Day on March 8! It’s a holiday that has celebrated and inspired women’s progress and empowerment through annual special events and celebrations all over the world since the early 1900’s. This year’s official theme is CONNECTING GIRLS, INSPIRING FUTURES. Organizations, governments, and charities also develop a different theme each year to reflect their own efforts for the year. The United Nations, a main sponsor of IWD, has chosen the theme “Empower Rural Women — End Hunger and Poverty.”

We will be celebrating locally with the League of Women Voters in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on Friday, March 9, from 12-4:30 p.m. at Roane State Community College. The forum is open to the public and will include speakers addressing issues such as domestic violence, human trafficking, drug and substance abuse, family planning and barriers to adequate reproductive health care, and trans-national parenting. Join us!

Africa ELI students participate each year in International Women’s Day celebrations occurring in South Sudan. This year we are encouraging girls to write essays based on the theme. You just may see some of their work showing up here on the blog. Stay tuned.

We invite you to write and submit an essay to us regarding a women’s issue or how you celebrate International Women’s Day. The chosen essays will be featured on our blog, and possibly shared with our students in South Sudan. Send essays to anita.africaeli@gmail.com; deadline March 8. We want to hear from you!

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