On International Women’s Day two charities, each with a mission to empower marginalized women, will come together in Kelowna to create awareness of the trials of being an impoverished woman in today’s world, both here at home and globally.
H.O.P.E. Outreach and Her International are embracing International Women’s Day not only to celebrate women’s achievement and take action for equality but to raise funds for the women who need it most.
For the second year in a row Hope in Her Eyes is sold out, with money raised to be split between the two charities.
Tamara McLellan, executive director for Her International says International Women’s Day has always meant so much to her over the years, but this year her focus has shifted.
“We have to understand that even among women, there’s work to be done to make it truly equal,” she explained. “Everyday at Her International, we have to ask ourselves what inter-sectional feminism and true equality between local and global partners looks like. It’s not about being a voice for the voiceless, because trust me, all women have voices.”
McLellan, who recently spoke at a TedX Women series in Kelowna, asks the question what can white women do to be good allies, during a time when collective freedom is linked and only can be made possible when we are all free.
“Our work at Her International is about bringing all women to the table,” she said.
HOPE in Her Eyes will feature Chief Roxanne Lindley and Councillor Fernando Alexander to start the evening with the Women’s Warrior Song. Organizer of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Vigil, Tina Miller, will also be in attendance.
The women and girls from H.O.P.E. Outreach who have gone through recovery themselves, will share their stories both in person and through a video at the event.
“I hope it’s an evening of true connection among all self identifying women and the men that stand alongside us,” said McLellan.
Her International is a grassroots charity, created in Kelowna 12 years ago by a woman named Michelle Bonneau, that aims to empower women and girls in Nepal through education.