The event featured special guest, women from over 25 different countries who either hold elected office or are professionals in their particular profession back in their country. They were participating in the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program on Women in Politics and Civil Society. The women participating were from Albania, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Eswatini, Federated States of Micronesia, Georgia, Ghana, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.
Mayor Sarno states, “I want to thank City Councilor Kateri Walsh, Chair of the Springfield Women’s Commission, for coordinating this event as we acknowledge, recognize and celebrate International Women’s Day. This year we’ll welcome women elected officials, representatives and dignitaries from around the world to mark this special occasion right here in Springfield City Hall.”
City Councilor Kateri Walsh, Chair of the Springfield Women’s Commission said about this event “We are honored to host this important event and are looking forward to welcoming women from around the world to our beautiful Chambers and sharing the challenges and achievements of Women leaders. It will definitely be an International Event celebrating March as Women’s History Month.
Cyd Melcher, Executive Director of World Affairs Council said, “We are delighted that Councilor Kateri Walsh and others will be meeting with the group of accomplished women from around the world to discuss the opportunities and challenges female elected officials in Springfield face, to exchange best practices and network. We’re sure the International Visitors will bring many ideas back to their home nations to share.”
Springfield City Councilors Maria Perez participated in the event as well as members of the Springfield Women’s Commission. City Clerk Gladys Oyola also discussed how voting works in Springfield and the impact of voting in our democracy. Mayor Sarno’s Constituent Service Director Molly Shea, Mayoral Aide Shenell Ford, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Judi Crowell, Mayoral Intern Rose McCaffrey, Ayanna Crawford and Ellen Moorhouse were also in attendance.