Marching for Women Published on March 9, 2016


PDF’s Fiona Servaes with Chris Bahara, Means Collective

In celebration of International Women’s Day, on Saturday, March 5th 2016, the UN Women for Peace Association (UNWFPA) hosted the 4th annual #Iwalk4women rally and “March in March” to end violence against women. PDF Board member Iva Kaufman and Foundation Associate Fiona Servaes participated in the march together with Chris Bahara from MEANS Collective, a PDF fiscally sponsored project.

The rally commenced at 11am at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza with many prominent speakers on stage all voicing their appreciation for the hundreds of people who came together in support and solidarity of the millions of women and girls living in slavery and experiencing violence and abuse. “We cannot underestimate the power of intention,” said Dayle Haddon, founder and CEO of WomenOne, an organization that provides education for women and girls.

One of the speakers was Deputy Chief Juanita Holmes, Commanding Officer of NYPD Domestic Violence Unit. Shandra Woworuntu, survivor of human trafficking and domestic violence, praised the NYPD, explaining that they helped to rescue her and prosecute her traffickers. “They helped me stand on my feet… I never deserved to be abused and none of us deserve to be,” she said. Woworuntu then powerfully challenged the audience to be “champions for women and girls everywhere.”IMG_5042

“What struck me the most was how supportive the NYPD was of the cause,” added Fiona. “You could tell that there were many officers there not just to provide safety, but because they really cared about the issue. They had their own banner, were taking pictures with other organizations, and asked us how they could help serve the community better and provide safety workshops for women.”

Same Sky, a cause-based trade initiative that employs women artisans who have overcome violence during the Rwandan genocide sold beautiful bracelets during the program. The bracelets also raise awareness of peace and ending violence against women by benefiting the UNWFPA. After all the speakers, Dionne Warwick and Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center Singers closed the program by singing together to “What the World Needs Now is Love.”

The march then began. Surrounded by people passionate about the cause, such as those from organizations like The Guardian Angels and Families for Sanctuary, Fiona concluded, “Everyone’s energetic voices advocating for gender equity were such an empowering feeling.” IMG_5078

«   »

Return to full list of blog entries

Comments are closed.