International Women's day in Beaufort

Beaufort is Better for the Balance!

#BalanceforBetter took on a new meaning this International Women’s Day (IWD). More than 60 people – women, men and children – gathered for a half-day programme at St Valentine’s Catholic Church in Beaufort, Sabah, in conjunction with IWD on 16thMarch 2019.

Intended as a “safe space” for discussions and raising awareness of gender inequality issues, the programme addressed gender imbalance in the community via fun activities, group discussions, presentations and games.

Two enthusiastic representatives from St Valentine’s Human Development Commission facilitated the event, which culminated in presentations from nine groups that covered their thoughts and suggestions of how the IWD theme could be realised in their community, society and respective families.

Feedback about the programme was generally very positive, with many participants expressing a new-found respect and appreciation for their family members and each other. Many felt that this was a very valuable experience that helped them view their families – including siblings, husbands, wives and in-laws – and friends from a very different perspective.

It is hoped that more similar programmes can be organised since this year’s celebrations have been so well received; such events can empower, strengthen and raise awareness among communities, and may lead to the establishment of more women’s groups.