On Jan. 19, while central New York was preparing for the heaviest snowfall of the season, a crowd was forming in the small village of Seneca Falls. Hundreds of women, men and children were there to participate in the 3rd annual Women’s March. Members of our own Zonta Club district attended the rally and found the event to be inspirational and empowering. Due to the partial government shutdown, the Women’s Rights National Historical Park was forced to pull its permit to host the event, but this did not stop the organizers from moving forward. After finding a new venue for the rally to take place, the march went on through snow and below-freezing temperatures.

Karen Macier, a member of the Zonta Club of Auburn, attended the Women’s March and encourages us all to help raise awareness as often as possible because “the more we are united … the louder the voice we have.” Zonta International’s vision is a world where women’s rights are equal and every woman is able to achieve her full potential. The Women’s March was the perfect demonstration of this vision. It is a movement to end racism and sexism, gain environmental justice, eradicate violence against women and so much more. Macier said, “There is still lots of work to be done, many barriers to overcome before we reach full equality.” Women are still underrepresented in leadership, victimized by sexual violence and at a higher risk for poverty. By working persistently to educate others on these important issues, we are on the road to create justice for all.

The month of March presents an opportunity to continue raising awareness, as it is Women’s History Month. There will be events taking place around the globe, such as festivals, concerts and conferences, as well as International Women’s Day on March 8. Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive and we can all play a part by celebrating the achievements of women. Stay tuned for more local events that you can participate in to better our community. In April, the Zonta Club of Auburn will be celebrating its centennial, and it will be open to the public. The Zonta Club of Auburn is devoted to empowering women through service and advocacy. Anyone interested in learning more can contact us at zontaclubofauburn@gmail.com.

We would like to take this time to thank our wonderful Zonta sister, Marianne Berman, for all of her hard work over the past two-plus years writing and putting together each monthly article for the Zonta Club of Auburn. She has been writing the article since October of 2016! We are all very grateful for her time and continued efforts.

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Casie Doolittle is a member of the Zonta Club of Auburn. Kathleen Barnard, Kathleen Stenard and Karen Macier contributed to this article. For more information, visit zonta.org or zontadistrict2.org.