Each year on March 8, individuals and organizations across the world gather to celebrate International Women’s Day in honor of the significant achievements that women have made throughout the course of history.

This year, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha contributed to this global movement by bringing together over 3000 women across 10 BAPS locations in North America for its third annual Women’s Conference. The theme of the conference, “Nurturing Families, Shaping Communities,” provided a forum for attendees to discuss the educational and environmental impact created by the global community of women through their roles in family and society.

The theme drew inspiration from BAPS’ core values of nurturing individuals and creating stronger families. Dignitaries, speakers, and invited guests at the conference discussed ways in which women foster a positive community by empowering themselves and each other in their various roles in social and family units.

The third annual BAPS Women’s Conference was held in Toronto, Edison, New York, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, San Jose, and Los Angeles. BAPS also hosted 200 International Women’s Day events across India and the UK throughout March and April 2010.

Since its inception at the turn of the 20th century, International Women’s Day has grown into a global movement. 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 followed BAPS Women’s Conference 2009: Health, Wellness and Balanced Development. Last year, BAPS brought together women of different backgrounds to engage in dialogue on the importance of fostering physical, social, cultural and spiritual wellness in girls. By sharing their different views and opinions, women were inspired to make a positive commitment towards making improvements in their own quality of life and in the well-being of women everywhere for ensuring peaceful progress in the future of women and society as a whole.

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