Local micro-entrepreneur Safia Ali is demonstrating the traditional way to make homemade yogurt in her wooden yogurt maker at last year’s International Women’s Day celebration at UC San Diego.
The economic, political and social achievements of women will be celebrated as part of the 101st anniversary of International Women’s Day, March 4 from 2 to 4 p.m., at the University of California, San Diego. The event, free and open to the public, will be held in UC San Diego’s Great Hall.
The celebration is a partnership between UC San Diego and community nonprofits, and will feature local women—many of whom have received small microfinance loans and other support to help them start businesses. Microfinance loans are small loans that extend credit to women, improving their economic and social lives.
“San Diego is home to a diverse group of refugees from many nations,” said Winifred Cox, co-founder of Women Empowerment (WE) International. “These women are eager to rebuild their lives and not afraid to work hard. Many need only a small hand-up, and events like this show how these women can get all the help they need to start a business and begin to take care of their families.”
At the celebration, attendees will have a chance to learn about microfinance loans and shop at the STAR Center Bazaar for imported jewelry, fashions, decorative items for the home, fresh flowers and organic baby clothes. There will also be sample ethnic dishes prepared by recipients of microfinance loans and services in San Diego. As part of WE’s partnership with the International Rescue Committee, California’s largest refugee resettlement agency, the STAR Center is a project in City Heights that provides free business services and microfinance loans to refugee and other low-income women.
International Women’s Day was first celebrated 101 years ago and since then it has grown in importance and impact. Today countries such as China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria recognize International Women’s Day as a national holiday.
The event is sponsored by San Diego’s Women’s Empowerment International and the UC San Diego International House, with support from USE Credit Union and UC San Diego’s Center for Global Justice.