On Tuesday, March 6th, Indus Community Services, Family Services hosted their Annual event celebrating women. This year’s theme was #indUS 4 Justice: Stepping In and Stepping Up!, which also featured our first awards ceremony recognizing exceptional women as survivors, caregivers, as volunteers and as champions for social justice.
Sita Jayaraman, Director Community Services at Indus, welcomed the gathering and acknowledged the Funders, Board Members & Community Partners in attendance. In his opening address, Indus Board Chair, Mandeep Grewal, shared his thoughts on the impact to children exposed to gender based violence. As well, a welcoming message from the Honorable Minister of the Status of Women, Harinder Mahli was broadcasted.
Our Keynote Speaker, Deepa Mattoo, Legal Director, Barbra Schlifer Clinic, provided an overview of current systems that interact with survivors of Gender Based Violence, the barriers that survivors experience to a sustainable violence free life and a summary of best practices and approaches to understanding and responding. Participants had the opportunity to share their reflections of women’s triumphs and challenges over the past 100 years and their vison for a just, equitable and inclusive future for women.
Rita Czarny, Family Mediator, reminded every-one of the importance of laughter and relaxation with a 30 minute demonstration of laughter yoga which was followed by the awards ceremony for Champion for Social Justice, Compassion and Courage & Strength.
Later during the day, Gurwinder Gill, Regional Director of Health Equity & Inclusion for William Osler Health System, Central-West CCAC and Headwaters Health Care Centre led the group into observing a few moments of silence for the 5 women murdered by their partners in Peel and concluded with inspirational examples of powerful women who Step-In and Step-Up to end Gender Based Violence worldwide.