March - April, 2011
Over 6000 women gathered at 20 locations across North America to attend the fourth annual BAPS Women’s Conference. This year’s theme, “Honoring the Past, Envisioning the Future,” commemorated the 100th annual International Women’s Day by celebrating inspirational Indian role models and looking into the evolving role of Hindu women in today’ society.
The conference touched on a variety of subjects ranging from the role of Hinduism in the lives of women today to a discussion delving into how traditions can be passed on to future generations. Using examples derived from traditional Hindu stories, progressive figures from Indian history and modern day leaders, the speakers highlighted the way the roles of women have changed over the years but continue to remain distinctive and irreplaceable.
Smruti Brahmbhatt, from Edison has been attending the BAPS Women’s Conference annually for the past 3 years. “Every year the Women’s Conference brings to light the unique attributes of women throughout the world as well as in our very own community. The leadership seen from these positive role models is why it is important for me to attend with my daughters,” said Ms. Brahmbhatt.
BAPS Women’s Conference was organized at 20 locations which included Toronto, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, St Louis, Columbus, Edison, New York, Washington, Boston, Cherry Hill, Parsippany, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Raleigh, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Jose. Each of the events collected items for a number of regional charities including food banks and clothing banks for low-income women. The conference incorporated the importance of service in one’s community and the subsequent ripple effect that it is capable of having on a global scale.
International Women’s Day has grown into a global movement, and this year, it is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Over 1,000 events were planned globally to mark the occasion of this movement dedicated to helping improve the lives of women and girls everywhere. The United Nations holds annual International Women’s Day conferences and officially designated 1975 as “International Women’s Year”. Today, this day dedicated to women is also an official national holiday in over 15 countries, including China and Russia.