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984 events. 63 countries. Thousands of individuals and organizations gathered this past March to celebrate the 2009 International Women’s Day. Officially on March 8, International Women’s Day honors women and their achievements in the past, present, and future.

This year, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha contributed to this global movement by bringing together over 2,500 women across North America gathered for its second annual Women’s Conference entitled “Health, Wellness and Balanced Development”. Three-hour town hall-style conferences held across 13 cities in the United States and Canada marked a unique dialogue among women about their personal and community-wide health and wellness needs.

Doctors, public health specialists, yoga experts, nutritionists, and spiritual leaders gathered at the different symposia and emphasized how various aspects of wellness (Physical and Nutritional Wellness, Mind-Body Wellness, Social, Cultural and Moral Wellness, as well as Spiritual Wellness) all play a joint role in the health and well-being of women everywhere.

Dignitaries, speakers, and invited guests at BAPS Women’s Conference 2009 discussed ways in which women can empower themselves and, in turn, improve their overall quality of life as well as make positive improvements within their surrounding community.

The second annual BAPS Women’s Conference is an historic ongoing exchange that is taking place across March and April 2009 in Toronto, Parsippany, New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nashville, Tampa, Houston, Dallas, Cleveland, Chicago, San Jose, and Los Angeles.

Since its inception at the turn of the 20th century, International Women’s Day has grown and is now a global happening. This year alone, nearly 1,000 events will celebrate International Women’s Day globally to mark this movement dedicated to improving 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.

This year’s women’s conference follows BAPS Women’s Conference 2008: Investing in Women and Girls. Last year, BAPS brought together women of different backgrounds to discuss the need to invest in the future of women and girls. By sharing their different views and opinions, women were inspired to make a positive investment for ensuring peaceful progress in the future of women and society as a whole.

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