Skip to main content

Small Wins, Big Dreams: AVAG's Women's Day Inspires Inclusion



Imagine a scene bursting with vibrant energy, a gathering of over 500 women and 50 children, all united by a common goal. It wasn't a bustling marketplace, but AVAG's heartwarming International Women's Day celebration. This year's theme, "Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress," struck a chord, and AVAG's initiative, "Inspire Inclusion," flourished into a remarkable event. 

Similar to a tiny seed tendered for growth, AVAGs women's day celebration aimed to nurture the potential within every woman: By weaving young girls and boys, ages 25 to 65, into the cultural fabric of the event, they dismantled traditional gender norms in the process. Ten-year-old Anjali, initially shy, transformed into a confident storyteller as she narrated a play about the importance of girls' education. Her grandfather, now a proud audience member, later confided that he'd never considered sending Anjali to school before. 

The dramas weren't sugar-coated presentations. They tackled difficult realities – child sexual abuse, domestic violence, and discrimination – but with a message of hope and empowerment. A powerful skit depicted a young woman bravely confronting an abusive husband. The audience held its breath, then erupted in thunderous applause as the woman walked away with newfound strength. Conversations crackled with energy afterwards, friends shared knowing glances, and a sense of solidarity filled the room. Many women confided in organisers about their own experiences, seeking support and guidance.

For many women, this event was a transformative experience. New women's groups, some experiencing their first public performance, courageously stepped out of their comfort zones and showcased their talents. A group of women from a remote village, initially hesitant, presented a vibrant folk dance that ignited the crowd. One member, Lakshmi, who had always been reluctant to speak up, later shared, "This is the first time I've felt truly seen and heard. We're going to practice even harder for next year!"

That sentiment echoed throughout the day. Even seasoned members of older women's groups, some active for over 16 years, confessed to feeling a newfound confidence after participating. The room buzzed with the contagious energy of inclusivity and empowerment. It was a space where women could be themselves, connect with others who understood their struggles, and forge a strong sense of belonging.

High attendance and enthusiastic participation spoke volumes about the event's success. Women arrived early, eager to delve into workshops on financial literacy and women's rights. They remained engaged throughout the day, sharing stories, laughter, and a newfound sense of purpose.

As a new staff member from a neighbouring village remarked, "This is an unforgettable day for me. I never expected to witness such a powerful transformation! I can see the change burning bright in these women's eyes."

AVAG's Women's Day celebration wasn't a fleeting moment; it was a seed sown for lasting progress. By investing in women, fostering inclusion, and providing a platform for their voices, AVAG is accelerating progress not just for these women, but for the entire ecosystem of their communities. As these empowered women return to their homes, they are ready to provide support to their daughters, educate their families, and build a brighter future for themselves and their communities, creating a ripple effect of positive change.


Written by Nadia Akcadurak