Beginning in 1857, International Women’s Day started when female textile workers marched in protest of unfair working conditions and unequal rights for women. It was one of the first organized strikes by working women, during which they called for a shorter workday and decent wages.
Today, it’s seen as an occasion to celebrate the progress made toward achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment but also to critically reflect on those accomplishments and strive for a greater momentum toward gender equality worldwide. For Grays Harbor women, the opportunity to celebrate and express that reflection shined bright in Elma on Wednesday, March 8.
“This is about empowering ladies, getting together, having fun and showing we can do anything in society. We need to have our tribe, our people, and a sense of community,” said Charlee Paull, one of the organizers of Women & Wings.
The event, which saw more than 30 women clad in purple from different parts of Grays Harbor County congregating together within the event room of Shujacks Bar & Grill in Elma, allowed guests to mingle, build connections and enjoy a plethora of deep-fried chicken wings and alcoholic beverages.
Live music, a photo booth and raffle prizes such as beanies, coats, flower bouquets and tumblers among other items that were gifted to women in the crowd gave the two-hour gathering a fun and relaxed vibe for guests while also expressing the importance of women’s equality.
“I don’t think there is always a lot of support provided for us women here so the best thing we can do is band together and support each other,” said Sydney Newbill, another organizer of the event.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the gathering came in the form of providing help to a mom of four who was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer to help ease any financial burden. A QR code was placed at every table in the room for people who wanted to donate.
Paull, who works as a mortgage loan officer at KeyBank, didn’t hesitate to admit that while the event was planned off the cuff, she was thrilled to see women in the community come out and celebrate despite the short notice.
“I’m really happy to see that a lot of moms are here. They’re the ones who took a big hit from the isolation due to the pandemic and you can tell the community engagement is needed,” Paull said.
Although groups of women at the event have notable ties to the Harbor community, other women saw the event as a way of getting to know people.
“I just moved to Aberdeen not too long ago and I saw the event posting on Facebook,” said one woman. “Given that I don’t know a lot of people here, it’s nice to be in a place where I can connect with other women in a way that’s unique and looks to celebrate a lot of things that society, unfortunately, brushes under the rug,”
Contact Reporter Allen Leister at 360-463-3572 or email@example.com