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International Women's Day: Women of the World

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International Women's Day: Women of the World

Sophia Boccard

Written by: Cheryl Gaudet

womens day

The United Nations first celebrated International Women's Day on March 8 during International Women's Year in 1975. On that day, a photo of my mother (a single parent who had returned to Teacher's Collage at the age of forty to rebuild her life) braiding her teenage daughter's hair appeared in the Truro Daily News in small town Nova Scotia, Canada. That daughter was me and I remember the pride I felt knowing that my mother and other women like her around the world were being acknowledged, celebrated, and honored for the important roles they played and the hardships they endured raising and nurturing their children in a male dominated society. We danced in the kitchen to Maria Muldar’s I'm a Woman on her “Breakfast in a Doughnutshop” album and in that instant I realized I was witnessing a powerful shift...that there was a voice for women all over the world.

Ten years later I was invited to participate at the Women's International Peace Conference at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax. I had been writing and performing my own songs regularly by then and was excited to be on the roster for this amazing event. My good friend and composer Rose Vaughan and I wrote Women of the World for the concert finale. While we performed, other female performers joined us in unison as I taught the audience the song, line by line. As the song built with excitement, hundreds of women from across the globe literally climbed over the auditorium chairs to join hands all the way up to each side of the stage in a complete unbroken circle with us. That was the single most unforgettable moment when I realized power in song and unity.

Over the years Women of the World has been performed at countless marches, rallies and other social activist events, often interchanging the title and lyrics to People of the World to include all members of the human race. We want to share the song and lyrics with each of you. Please enjoy and help us pass on the word of unity.

PEOPLE OF THE WORLD

Copyright: Cheryl Gaudet/Rose Vaughan 1985

People of the world, people of the world
Join your hands, join your hands for peace, peace, shalom
People of the world, people of the world
Take a stand, take a stand for peace, peace, shalom

Children's lives are in our hands
Let them know we understand they want
Peace, peace, shalom

People of the world, people of the world
Rise up proud, say it loud we want peace, peace, shalom

People of the north and south
People of the east and west
Pull together, we will never rest
Until there's peace, peace, shalom

People of the world, people of the world
Join your hands, take a stand for peace, peace, peace, peace, shalom