BOSTON: Every year, March 8 is observed as International Women’s Day (IWD) to celebrate the social, economic and political achievements of women. This year’s theme of the IWD is “EachforEqual”, collectively each one of us can help create a gender-equal world. With this theme, the United India Association of New England (UIANE) organized a program at Boston Public Library, in Copley Boston, MA on March 8, 2020, in a hall full of registered participants.
President, of the Association, Ms Aditi Soni welcomed all speakers, guests, and participants for attending the program with much enthusiasm. She applauded the men, who came to celebrate women and emphasized how men need to be in the conversation to create an equal world.
In her introduction, she said that the UIANE was founded in 1984, with its mission to preserve, promote and nurture the values of Indian Heritage by planning, developing and executing the programs which bring our community together and its motto, as ‘Unity is Strength, be United.’ She also talked about UIANE’s membership, sponsorship, and upcoming special events requested all to visit their website for more details.
The program focused on providing information about the available community resources, suggestions, and tips required for the women’s empowerment in the areas of domestic violence, mental health, and how to shine on the LinkedIn social network that focuses on professional networking.
Saheli is an organization dedicated to supporting South Asian (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) women and families in the Greater Boston area to lead safe and healthy lives. Ms. Rita Shah from Saheli talked about the Saheli’s resources, where and how the South Asia women can contact them. Ms. Divya Chaturvedi spoke elaborately onan array of interventions that are needed for these women and families to recover from crises and get back on their feet.
Dr. MaliniPrabhu, from Newton Wellesley Hospital, spoke on mental health issues among the South Asian community. She said that feeling depressed, anxious or lost is very common. They are treatable but seeking help before they get worst is crucial. She said that mental health disorders are caused by multiple and interacting social, psychological and biological factors which determine the prevalence, onset and course of mental and behavioral disorders. With regard to how to seek help, she said to start with your own primary healthcare provider first and then go to the psychiatrist/psychologist for necessary therapies/counselling.
Ms. Meeru Kumar from the American Association of University Women (AAUW-Massachusetts) talked about its official inception in 1881 as a non-profit organization that advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. She also showed statistics on how the wage gap is existing among women across different races including its long-term consequences. Ms. Jesse Ohrenberger conducted a salary negotiation workshop and helped participants build confidence through her facilitated discussion and learn to negotiate for a new job, raise, or promotion with a line-manager through facts based dialogues about your qualifications, achievements, profits, the salary range offered for the same job in the same state. She said that participants can find more information about AAUW at https://salary.aauw.org/.
Ms. Heena Purohit, Ms. Divya Salhi, and Dr. Jaya Goyal, all LinkedIn users offered many tips. Ms. Heena said that it has many features and offers opportunities to network every day; people who are hiring are looking for suitable candidates’ profile on LinkedIn for their job listings; reach out to the people who are viewing your profile; LinkedIn enables your peers to endorse your skills and write up recommendations, and you can do the same for them;it also enables you to make important business connections; posting articles on LinkedIn can help to establish your expertise and read news, tips, and updates from your connections just to stay current on industry trends and timely topics; research other businesses or opportunities that interests you;introduce others to your books, websites, blogs and other online content, and this drives more readers to your interests. She walked through her own profile and postings and how she is staying in touch with peers and active interactions and respectful comments.
All participants were encouraged to think of one woman who inspires them and acknowledge these women by sending a thank you card provided during the event. One of the participants said that I became inspired by the inspiration of these women speakers and through the years, the Women’s day programs are becoming better and better. This salary negotiation workshop taught me how to articulate my skills, qualifications and experience, and ask for and get the pay I deserve.”
The event ended with a token of appreciation to all speakers. AditiSoni thanked her executive team, Board of directors and Board of advisors for their hard work and unconditional commitment to bring together these events for New England community. More information about United India Association of New England can be found on www.unitedindia.net or by following them on the Facebook page or Instagram #uianeboston