March is a month in which Italy along with the rest of the world celebrate women, with International Women’s Day falling on the 8th March.
This day is dedicated to honouring the social, economic, cultural, and political accomplishments of women. This year the event will be marked on the theme DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.
Known as La Festa della Donna, this day in Italy has a symbolism more reminiscent of Mother’s Day. A feature of the day unique to Italy, is that often women – as well as men – gift flowers to important women in their lives on this day, marking their colleagues and friends’ achievements, and as an act of solidarity, recognising the impact that they have made along with their value in society.
There are many fabulous women whom I’d like to honour on La Festa della Donna, I really am so fortunate to meet such inspiring women in my line of work.
One woman who has hugely inspired me, and to whom I would be delighted to gift flowers, is Nane Annan, widow of the former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Kofi Annan.
I had the pleasure of interpreting for Nane some years ago, at an assignment at the International Women’s House in Rome, and the assignment and her impact have stayed with me.
During the time her husband was in office, she focused in particular on developing programmes relating to girls’ education and women’s empowerment. I was lucky to interpret for her during a visit to the Women’s House, which provided shelter and a safe place for women who had been victims of acid attacks. Nane was poised, kind and genuine, and it was an honour to interpret for her: a true advocate of women and a real inspiration.
Memories of the assignment have, as you’d expect, stayed with me over the years, and I was delighted to read that the International Women’s House is still going from strength to strength, providing vital support and becoming a cultural engine for women’s actions.
I am delighted to present my virtual flowers to Nane.
How will you mark La Festa della Donna, and whom will you honour?