Coronavirus postpones International Women's Day event at Preston temple

Kailash Parekh, spokeswoman for the International Womens Day outreach team, pictured second from right, at a Diwali celebration at the temple
Kailash Parekh, spokeswoman for the International Womens Day outreach team, pictured second from right, at a Diwali celebration at the temple

A city celebration planned to mark International Women’s Day has been cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu temple on Ribble Bank Street, Preston says the March 21 event will be postponed.

Kailash Parekh, spokeswoman for the International Women’s Day outreach team, said: “Despite the disappointment we believe this is the best course of action for the health and safety of all visitors to the Mandir/centre. A lot of planning and preparation have already gone in so we look forward to sharing a new date once we have one.”

The planned theme for the two hour event was ‘Celebrating Women: Rising to the Challenge’. It would have been the centre’s 11th annual celebration of the March 8 International Women’s Day and organisers say previous events have left a lasting impact. The challenges women have faced in society from abuse to social media will be highlighted in the rescheduled event.

Issues to be addressed, at International Women’s Day linked events including at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London, included:

• Standing up against abuse and being brave enough to stand up against something that an individual feels is not right. Being aware of your perceptions.

• Thinking about unconscious biases. Seeking out adventure. Doing something fun for you; helping to tackle issues like social isolation.

• Displaying the positives and negatives of social media while remembering its merits in a controlled setting.

• The Mandir legacy - Celebrating BAPS women in the context of the Mandir legacy.

Those invited to the event included the mayor of Chorley and mayoress of Preston and charities including the HeadStart and Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

The keynote speaker was to be a representative from FOMO Malawi (Friends of Mulanje Orphans, Malawi,Community Orphan Care).

Any women interested were also invited to attend.