March 8, 2008: International Women's Day Celebrations in India

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Over 500 women took part in a day-long celebration in Nagapattinam District in Tamil Nadu to mark International Women’s Day. The function was attended by elected women representatives, SHG members and other women.

The women took part in sessions on legal literacy relating to the Domestic Violence Act, Dowry Act and how to access free legal aid from the government. The District Judge and Project officer of the Women’s Development Corporation participated in the event. Several women came forward to share their struggles and stress the importance of legal knowledge for women.

The highlight of the day when the ex-president of the Elected Women's Federation of Tamil Nadu shared her experiences of the struggles she had to face in her 10-year term as president and highlighted the need for women to show solidarity to each other. SHG members came forward to express their solidarity with women leaders in panchayats. There was also discussion about the need for an increase in the reservation for women in panchayats from the current 33% to 50%.

The women were there in large numbers, and enjoyed themselves by participating in recreational activities like Kolam competitions and tug of war. More such celebrations are underway in different parts of Tamil Nadu in the coming week.

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