Clubs plan celebration for International Women’s Day

JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Zonta Club of Jamestown will co-host an International Women’s Day Celebratory dinner on Friday, March 8, at the Robert H. Jackson Center beginning at 6 p.m. The celebration is open to the public and will feature two speakers: Katherine Mang of Mothers Clubs of Haiti and Paige Mecca of Solar Liberty Foundation who will speak about their experiences helping women in Haiti and East Africa. Reservations can be made by calling 483-5448. Dinner is $25 per person.

Mang has been working with Mothers Clubs of Haiti since 1993 as a board member. In her primary role, Mang educates people about this micro-lending program and raises funds for the loans that help poor women of East Africa and Haiti start businesses. Mang has taken seven trips to Tanzania since 2003 and three trips previously to Haiti. In 2009, she spent three months in Tanzania living in a village and getting to know club members and the program better. Mang served in the United States Peace Corps in Honduras from 1969-1971.

Information about Mothers Clubs is available on its website, www.mclubsth.org.

Mecca, executive director and founder of Solar Liberty Foundation, is an attorney with a master’s degree in social work. She earned her law and master’s degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo and has an undergraduate degree from St. Lawrence University. Prior to her work with Solar Liberty Foundation, Mecca practiced family law, working on behalf of children as a law guardian. Mecca founded Solar Liberty Foundation as a way to help people in dire need in less developed nations who have no access to electricity. Information on Solar Liberty Foundation is available on its website, www.solarliberty.org.

International Women’s Day is held annually on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. The first International Women’s Day occurred on March 19 in 1911. The inaugural event, which included rallies and organized meetings, was a big success in countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. International Women’s Day, is a public holiday in some countries such as (but not exclusive to): Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova. The UN drew global attention to women’s concerns in 1975 by calling for an International Women’s Year. It also convened the first conference on women in Mexico City that year. The UN General Assembly then invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace in 1977. The day aimed to help nations worldwide eliminate discrimination against women. It also focused on helping women gain full and equal participation in global development.

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. Zonta Club is an international women’s service organization dedicated to advancing the status of women locally and globally.