Bay Area celebrates International Women's Day

March 8, 2011 12:20:24 PM PST
Tuesday marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day and there are events around the world to mark the occasion.

In San Francisco, hundreds of women joined Google employees and marked Women's Day by walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. They were joined by Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland and the lieutenant governor's wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom.

In South San Francisco, a unique conference was connecting women globally. The women in the South San Francisco conference room were participating in a global celebration. Many of them have been supporting local women and their dreams for years as part of the group Women Information Network. But Tuesday, they were thrilled to part of something bigger.

"When they say that we're doing women around the world, I'm in, I don't know what it entails but we're reaching women around the world, I'm in," WIN regional director Valeri Bocage said.

With ABC7's Janelle Wang leading the crowd as the emcee, the group represented San Francisco in a live video stream. Particpants also watched women celebrating in Los Angeles.

It was all very impressive to Olga Aura, who always thought this day was only celebrated in Eastern Europe.

"This is huge; I've been in America for 15 years never have I heard of this day being openly celebrated and now ten cities in this country," Aura said.

The 100th anniversary has motivated celebrations all over the world. There was even a pro-women demonstration in Cairo.

"I love cheering on women and I love women living their dreams because when women are OK, the world works," Bocage said.

Bocage has gone through her own challenges. She lost everything she had in Hurricane Katrina. She decided to move to San Francisco and start over and now spreads her message to other women.

"And that's to not have women be stopped by circumstances, just do whatever they want to do," Bocage said.

The overall theme of Tuesday's conference was strengthening women and families worldwide.


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