International Women’s Day 2016 Celebration Report

The Iranian Circle of Women's Intercultural Network (ICWIN) celebrated the 2016 International Women's Day (IWD) on Sunday March 6th, 2016 at The Grand Event Center in Long Beach, California. The theme of this year's program was "Pledge For Parity" encouraging all supporters and advocates for gender equality to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity. 

The event was an exciting, engaging and educating program to empower all girls and women while focused on informing and inspiring all participants. 

Celebration started with a great positive energy generated by the music of Grupo Bella Mariachi Band. This group is among the visionaries who broke barriers by creating an all female Mariachi Band.

The music was followed by opening remarks by MC, Shila Vosough Ommi, actor, writer, director and producer who welcomed guests on behalf of the ICWIN organizing committee and made comments on the significance of IWD. 

In the first segment of the program Elahe Amani, member of ICWIN steering committee and Chair of the Global Circles of WIN talked about the history ofInternational Women's Day and its celebration all around the world. She also introduced and acknowledged Ms. Marilyn Fowler, the founder and president of Women Intercultural Network (WIN).

Then Nasim Pedrad, the young Iranian-American comedian and actress who is best known for her work on Saturday Night Live, was in conversation with Nazanin Amani, another ICWIN steering committee member, talking about “Her Journey” and her challenges within the entertainment industry as a young female comedian and actress.

The keynote speaker was Jackson Katz, Ph.D, who talked about "Role of Men in Gender Equality". Dr. Katz is a scholar, pioneering on issues of gender and violence. He is an educator and TED Talk speaker and a co-founder of Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), one of the longest-running and most widely influential sexual assault and relationship abuse prevention programs in high schools, colleges, sports culture and the military in North America and beyond.

The next conversation was on the topic of “Women and Election", moderated by Manijeh Badiee with guest participants Sara Amir and Linda Zomara regarding upcoming U.S. election, role of women and its impacts on women.

Following the conversation, Nazanin Amani, member of ICWIN steering committee, provided a special update regarding CEDAW initiative in Long Beach, CA.

The program ended with the music of ADAAWE, the all female percussion vocal group and Cello by Mahsa Ghassemi and special performance by Mamak Khadem.

Guest speakers were presented with a signed copy of the "50 Women" written by WIN member, Jessica Buchleitner.

Art Exhibition organized by Shahla Bebe, member of ICWIN steering committee, displayed the work of artists: Shahla Bebe, Jenik Cook, Mehri Dadgar, Annie Do, Nora Gabbi, Aziz Golkar, Armineh Havan, Pooran Maleki, Ramon Rodriguez, Azadeh Sarvi, Poline Shooshani and herself.

These authors were present for book signing: Jessica Buchleitner, Mehrnoosh Mazarei, Sheida Mohammadi, Nejla Nasiri, Zoe Nicholson, Fariba Rofougaran,Mahdokht Sanaati.