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Réans, Armagnac, 32 Gers, France
Our objective is to promote friendship between women of all nationalities living in Gascony, SW France, to share our interests and to offer help when needed. The Club started in 2008, with twenty English ladies living in Gascony, using a foreign language and experiencing a new life. Since then, several different groups have been added and our membership has grown into the hundreds, with new ladies moving to the area and ladies who have lived here a while, who have discovered us, who want to make new acquaintances and discover new areas of interest. Today we have eleven nationalities, and our speaking/working language is English. The LLC meets on the second Tuesday of each month, excluding July and August.Every member receives an email each month, giving the name of the restaurant, the chosen, menu and a booking form. In 2014, we became a non-profit making Association, known as Ladies Lunch Club de l’Armagnac. Our annual subscription fee of 10 € is payable in January each year. Each member of the Club may participate in some or all of our various groups

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

International Women's Day 2016 - Pledge for Parity

which is celebrated on 8th of March every year. 
In some countries it is a National holiday.

Rose de Luxembourg, Simone de Beauvoir and Emma Goldman
"Governments have always tried to crush reform movements, to destroy ideas, to kill the thing that cannot die. Without regard to history, which shows that no Government have ever succeeded in doing this, they go on trying in the old, senseless way.  - 
Women are very slow to rouse, but once they are determined, nothing on earth and nothing in heaven will make women give way; it is impossible.”
- Emmeline Pankhurst


The earliest Women’s Day meeting was held in February 1909 in New York; it was organized in remembrance of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union in the US.

In August 1910 an International Women's Conference was organized by the Socialists in Copenhagen, Denmark. 
The American activist May Wood-Simons inspired German suffragette Luise Zietz, Clara Zetkin and Rosa Luxemburg proposing to establish an annual 'International Woman's Day'. 
Delegates (100 women from 17 countries) agreed with the idea as a strategy to promote equal rights, including suffrage for women.

The very first  IWD was celebrated on March 19, 1911 by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire were 300 demonstrations.
In Vienna, thousands of women demonstrated and carried banners honouring the martyrs of the 1848 March Revolution and the Paris Commune, which had already demanded human rights for women in March 1871. 
Not to forget the first declaration for women's rights by Olympe de Gouges in 1793 in the French Revolution.

In London there was a march from Bow to Trafalgar Square in support of women's suffrage on 
8 March 1914.  
Sylvia Pankhurst (daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst) was arrested in front of Charing Cross station on her way to speak in Trafalgar Square. 

Women demanded that women be given the right to vote and to hold public office. 
They also protested against gender discrimination in employment. 

1975 was the UN International women's year, a celebration was on 8th of March. 
Finally in 1977 on the UN general meeting a resolution declared the 8th March to be the International women's day. 
So this is celebrated every year at least since 1995.

In 2015 UN Commission commemorated the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Beijing Declaration, which remains the world’s best blueprint to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment
One of the great achievements of the Beijing Conference was the recognition that women’s rights are human rights. 
17,000 participants and 30,000 activists gathered then to voice and demonstrate their support for gender equality and women’s empowerment. 

Finally it was understood that if women and girls cannot fully realize their rights and aspirations, development in the society will be impeded.

Gender parity in primary education has been widely achieved, but completion rates and the quality of education are not high enough across all countries. 

More women have been elected to public office but we are still far from parity.

More women than ever before are participating in the work force, but women generally earn in average 30% less than men and, 
in rich and poor countries alike, 
carry a disproportionate burden of unpaid care work which deprives them of time for valuable pursuits like earning money, gaining new skills, and participating in public life.

And, while more laws exist to protect women from domestic violence, sexual and gender-based abuse or discrimination continue to occur on every continent and in every country, reaching horrific levels where there is war or civil conflict.

The International Woman’s Day theme for 2016 is Pledge for Parity.

Therefore let's join supporting this call for our children and grandchildren to realize a world in which every woman and girl has the opportunity to fulfill her potential and enjoy equal rights and status.

The challenge in our lives is to learn from difference, and at the same time in a perfect balance with difference, understand that we are all human in a universal sense. 

We live in a world where decisions demand 
either /or  - instead of as well as - 
which would be trying to make a world that is inclusive and joining. 

Life is about shared humanity in perfect balance with difference. 

Each one of us in this room is a unique combination of millennia upon millennia of heredity and environment combined in a way that could never have happened before and could never happen again.

Anybody who has ever met a baby knows there is a person already in that little human and it is our job as the parents and families and allies of children to help them to become who they already are.

Usually older women have more power than younger women – not always, but usually. 

But we must become allies. 
So it is especially important for us older women to listen as much as we talk. 

If we listen to each other’s stories, and we figure out what changes will be of help to most of the people
 - the younger women and children - then we have a chance to come out with both better changes, 
and more community.

Therefore let's share our our quest on this pledge for parity.


This speech was held today on the occasion of Ladies Lunch Club luncheon on 8th of March 2016. 


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