“International Day of women” celebration by Mpanazava et Madagasikara
24 April 2014
The 8 March, “International Day of women” was an exceptional day for the Mpanazava et Madagasikara this year. It was celebrated in the Town Hall of Antananarivo along with the Commune and some United Nations agencies working for women’s rights. Around 1000 people attended this celebration. During the day, activities were planned for the audience which included girls, young women, mothers and other women, along with male guests. They all joined hands together to pass on the global theme: “Ensuring Women’s equality, a progress for all”
The celebration started with a gathering of all the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts led by the National Commissioner, Zoe Rasoaniaina or Harahara Mihangy. It was then followed by a dance presented by some deaf Girl Guides. The association of handicapped women also presented a dance to the audience. Afterwards, Olga Rasamimanana, welcomed everyone to the ceremony and wished them to spend a great day, especially all the girls and young women who attended the ceremony.
Afterwards, the authorities proceeded with the exhibition opening. Mpanazava eto Madagasikara shared the theme of 8 March through its project “Photovoice”. There were photographs which showed the value of women, their different responsibilities, and some of the challenges they still have to face in their everyday life. In addition, a woman shared her job as an electrician. AKAMA displayed some of their handcrafts, as well as some sign language. Mpanazava also placed a stand for a listening center where the Girl Guides could come and talk about any kind of violence that is happening to them. Apart from these, the Commune, the United Nations, and other partners also got involved in the stands.
Meanwhile a panel on the responsibilities of women in the development of the Urban Commune of Antananarivo was held in the ceremonial hall. As such, the representative of the United Nations Information Center started talking about the International Celebration of Women’s Day and added some facts on Madagascar. Some documentary films were shown including:
-Violence against girls and young women, led by the Mpanazava eto Madagasikara
-The Girl Effect videos
- The responsibilities of women in the Urban Commune of Antananarivo.
Some Questions and answers followed those displays.
The panel was also an opportunity for the Mpanazava to do some advocacy in favor of women, by highlighting how the future can be if more positions of responsibilities would be given to them. “Imagine More” .
In parallel with the panel, the Girl Guides who came to celebrate this great event could also participate in the activities and animations in the Town Hall. There were fun games which highlighted the value of a woman, the access to safe hygiene and sanitation, the fight against violence towards girls and young women. The Girl Guides also wrote on a fresco mural some of their wishes for their participation in being the voice of girls and young women. Along with those, there were outdoor animations with musical comedy, some radio programmes, dances, and plays.
Each individual brought bring new knowledge back home, had fun, and also had some messages to share at homes or in their communities.
The guests were afterwards invited to a cocktail, and then all the Girl Guides wrapped up the ceremony in the final gathering. The celebration ended with a poetry reading and musical comedy entitled: « That’s a woman » This latter is a programme which runs in parallel with the 50th Anniversary of the Brownies (young girls from 6 to 11 years old).