She has been asked the question more than a few times in recent weeks: Why spend so much time and energy organizing a conference for International Women’s Day?
The answer is simple, says Barbara Maher. International Women’s Day is about celebrating women’s achievements, and that’s reason enough.
“I believe there is always room in everyone’s life for celebrating,” said Maher. “There is always room for more joy.”
Maher is an event planner based in Chase and the founder of The Spirit of Women movement, which supports programs and workshops geared to women.
She is helping co-ordinate a two-day conference at Hotel 540 in Kamloops featuring three guest speakers on topics ranging from health and wellness to relationships and beliefs.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do for many years and it just kind of fell into place this year,” said Maher of the conference.
“It’s something that’s important to me and the people I work with, so we just kind of took the bull by the horns and started planning things.”
The conference begins on Friday, March 8, with a reception and continues on Saturday, March 9, with the guest speakers and presentations from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Speakers include Holly Eburne, a physiotherapist and transformational coach, Kathleen Wright, a personal coach and fitness trainer, and Trisha Miltimore, a keynote presenter, workshop facilitator and personal coach.
“I put it out to a lot of people and these are the names that came back to me,” said Maher. “They’d like to hear from these ladies.”
Maher chose Kamloops for the conference hoping a central location would attract women from Merritt, Barriere, the Shuswap and other outlying communities.
Non-profit organizations are also invited to take part. They will get a chance to speak to the audience about their work on women’s issues. At the end of the day, the audience will vote to give one of the non-profits $1,000.
Another highlight of the conference will be the Walk of Fame — a display of photos and stories about inspiring women.
“We’re asking women to please share with us a story or some information about a woman (historical figure, family, friend) and why this person appeals to them,” said Maher. “What qualities about that person they feel has touched them.”
A Walk of Fame submission form can be found at www.women-helping-women.com along with more information about the conference and how to register.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a United Nations day celebrated on March 8. It began as a human rights and political movement in the early 20th century and is still used to raise awareness of women’s struggles.
Mostly, IWD is a day of celebrating achievements and honouring women who are making a positive difference in the lives of others.
For more information about the upcoming conference, visit www.women-helping-women.com.