Boston Indians Celebrate International Women’s Day

Boston Indians Celebrate International Women’s Day

By Divya Chaturvedi for India New England News

Every year March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day. There are hundreds of events all over the globe celebrating women’s social, economic, and political contributions as well as educational and thoughtful dialogues about the prevalence and persistence of gender inequality in the world.

The International Women’s Day event co-hosted by United India Association of New England (UIANE), Saheli, Women Who Win #Dreamcatchers and the Asian American Commission of Massachusetts, on March 6th was both a celebration of achievements of South Asian women and a discussion about the challenges that still remain for women to achieve gender equality.

This event was co-created and co-hosted by Aditi Soni, President of United India Association of New England, and Meena Bharath, Commissioner, Asian American Commission and Chair of DESE’s Gifted & Talented Education Advisory Council. The hosts appeared at the start of the event against a virtual backdrop of women holding hands with words ‘Decisive’, ‘Bold’, ‘Strong’, ‘Brilliant’, ‘Bossy’ and ‘Troublemaker’.

Aditi Soni opened the event with her rousing opening remarks, about her biggest inspiration in her life: her mother. Her mother, who was from a small town in India who raised six daughters, instilled in Aditi and her sisters a sense of independence and a desire to live life to the fullest. Aditi expressed that it was this inspiration that drives her to uplift other women and support them in their dreams. Meena Bharath, in her opening remarks spoke of the many role models and inspirations in her life from her mother, sister to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to Vice President Kamala Harris. She expressed how in her ups and downs in life, especially as an immigrant in America, it is the sisterhood across the barriers of color, religion and beliefs that has supported her. With the hosts setting the mood, the event was off to a great start.

The event’s first session was led by Women Who Win #Dreamcatchers which is an award-winning global media platform for women dreamers ( founded by Shaleen Sheth, Dr. Deepa Jhaveri and Dr. Manju Sheth. A panel of strong women leaders comprising Dr. Rollie Lal, Associate Professor at George Washington University, Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, Pediatric Anesthesiologist, and Samantha Ganglani, Vice President of Global Development at D-L Incentives, offered their perspectives on leadership. In the US where there are only 7% female CEOs and only 38% managerial positions are held by women, the panel unequivocally agreed that it was essential to have women’s voices at the table. Policy making around the world needs to reflect women’s priorities. Women also need to change their own perceptions of women being weak and need to become more proactive at seeking opportunities. The panel suggested that to be leaders, it is important to be fearless, to not hold back and show one’s passion and enthusiasm. However, being a women leader is not easy and the panel addressed the issue of conflict in leadership by talking how to understand and manage conflict of self, family, team and with external organizations.

The complete virtual program can be watched on YouTube here:

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