Chocolate, Zumba & Community | Women

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Chocolate, Zumba & Community

How we celebrated International Women's Day
Collage of International Women's Day activities
Posted March 25, 2024

Hundreds of bars of chocolate were given out, and women in every corner of our Territory were celebrated, for International Women’s Day on 8 March.

‘Women and chocolate go together,’ joked Ingrid Barratt from Women’s Ministries, who created free resources for the day. ‘International Women’s Day is a wonderful, positive and inclusive celebration of the power of women. It was wonderful to see literally hundreds of people celebrating in our corps and centres.’

Many added their own creative touches: Major Gill Waugh planned to give 5 chocolate gifts to each woman in her local centre, for them to pay forward to women in the community.

This community spirit was reflected in many of the activities. In Royal Oak, women taking part in the Positive Lifestyle Programme were invited to a beautiful morning tea, and every woman who walked through the doors of its Community Ministries was honoured with a gift.

In New Lynn, Major Denise Smith thanked the many women volunteers (without whom most of our corps could not run!). ‘Especially to those ladies who serve others each week through Home League, working in the food bank, and kid’s ministries.’

Commissioner Julie Campbell was in Tonga for celebrations, where there was a Women’s Rally. Women were given gifts and …of course… chocolate!

... when women are lifted up, all of society is lifted up.

In Samoa, the ladies know how to have a good time and celebrated with Zumba! Major Julie Turner says that the spirit of celebration is also a positive way to talk about issues that affect women. ‘It gives us an opportunity to talk about gender equity issues and what life is like for women,’ she says.

Many groups also included the Bible Study Raise Your Voice, which outlines a bibilical view of gender equity, into their celebrations.

And it wasn’t only women leading celebrations. Lieutenant Ben Cola gave out the chocolates to teachers at the local primary school, while Major Mat Badger gave them out to women staff members in Johnsonville.

‘It’s wonderful to see both women and men celebrating International Women’s Day, because when women are lifted up, all of society is lifted up. This is a small but significant way that we can honour, respect and celebrate women,’ sums up Ingrid.