NMI celebrates International Women’s Day with ‘meet and greet’ event

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THE multi-purpose center in Susupe on Saturday was adorned with colorful cultural displays from multiple districts in celebration of International Women’s Month.

This year’s theme is “Continuing to Rise: Women Leading Sustainable Development.” Saturday’s event was a “meet and greet,” which served as an opportunity for women in the CNMI to represent their culture and heritage.

The festivities began with an invocation by Women’s Affairs Office community outreach coordinator Elphidia Sablan, followed by the singing of the U.S. and CNMI anthems by Ro’Ana and RheAnn Tudela.

CNMI Women’s Association president Cecilia Taitano gave the welcoming remarks, followed by a ceremony dedicated to recognizing 11 “Women of Action” in the CNMI.

Mistress of ceremonies Carol P. Hosono and 2019 Miss Marianas Shannon Sasamoto introduced each of the 11 women and called them to the stage, where they each received a pin and a framed certificate from first lady Diann T. Torres, second lady Wella S. Palacios, and Special Advisor for Women’s Affairs Shirley Camacho-Ogumoro.

This year’s celebration of women also highlighted the cultural performances of women’s groups from China, Japan, the Philippines, Chuuk, and the CNMI.

In addition, there was a presentation by a tai chi group, which encouraged everyone to stand up and follow the movements.

After the cultural performances, women filed out of the multi-purpose center with flags from each of their islands or nations for the roadside waving portion of the festivities. Women from various ethnic groups stood on the roadside with banners and flags displaying their cultural heritage and celebrating International Women’s Day.

CNMI community members gathered at the multi-purpose center on Saturday to celebrate International Women’s Day 2020.  Photo by K-Andrea Evarose S. Limol

Following the roadside waving was a sakau ceremony led by the Pohnpeian women’s group. Sakau was pounded and offered to members of the public including first lady Diann Torres.

“The world’s changing,” she said. “Women are out there taking higher rank and management positions. We are coming out and we are empowering every day…to encourage women to empower each other.”

For her part, second lady Wella Palacios said, “Today was a really great event because of the many groups that are here. We are very happy that we are all well-represented.”

Members of the community are encouraged to participate in this year’s 2020 Women’s Month activities.

There will be a “Master Class” from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, hosted by the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, which will soon announce the venue.

There are also free swimming classes every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Guma Sakman hosted by 500 Sails.

On Tuesday, March 24, there will be a Women’s Expo hosted by the CNMI Women’s Association at the Carolinian Utt.

Then, on Friday, March 27, there will be a Women’s Summit hosted by the CNMI Women’s Association at Fiesta Resort & Spa.

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