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Saturday afternoon the second annual Person County International Women’s Day March commemorated International Women’s Day in celebration and protest with a resounding message, “balance the better.”
People marched from Merritt Commons to the Kirby Theater for the program, echoing that message by chanting, “united we stand, divided we fall.”
Balance the better is the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, which was observed on March 8.
It is a global day for celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
“It means finding the best balance that works for you. Although my balance at this point in my life is to be a wife, a mother, a preacher, a grandmother, and employer that is not where you are in life right now…but finding whatever is the best balance in your life,” said Person County International Women’s Day March co-founderWanda Williams-Pettiford.
Piedmont Community College president Pamela Senegal, the keynote speaker, taught the audience how to better the balance going forward by choosing kindness, saying no to guilt and avoiding the comparison trap.
“It doesn’t do us any good when they are actually 13 women leaders in countries across the world but it won’t change the world unless we as women bring our unique sensibility to the work that we actually do,” said Senegal.
Some took Senegal’s message to heart in making that step for better balance.
“The keynote speaker said some really important things that I will be implementing in my life and I really appreciate it,” said attendee Taylor Williams.
Saturday’s march, which was lightly attended, was a start for both men and women to respond to the call of action.
Men were also involved in the march and program to reflect that collective action and shared responsibilities are the driving forces to achieving balance.
“It is designed to be a conversation starter, not the end of a conversation,” Pettiford said.
The 2019 initiative also challenges boardrooms, government, media coverage, employees, gender balance in wealth, sports coverage and beyond, which according to IWD website is essential for economies and communities to drive.
“If a woman is very vocal or forthcoming she is seen as aggressive and that is seen as a negative trait but if a man uses the same qualities, aggressiveness is seen as a positive trait.… A lot of times just being able to temper that climate and to be able to find what works in the climate that you are trying to exist in or that you are trying to excel in is the balance,” said Pettiford.
Next year, the Person County International Women’s Day March committee envisions commemorating the week of the women by having seven events which according to Williams will not necessarily take place on seven consecutive days.
To find out more information about the organization, visit their Facebook page, International International Women’s Day March: Roxboro, NC or contact Williams-Pettiford at firstname.lastname@example.org.