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Zonta movie event to spark discussions on gender quality  

In honor of International Women’s Day, a special movie event featuring the story of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “On the Basis of Sex”, will be hosted by the Zonta Club of Nassau in partnership with Cable Bahamas/Rev and Fusion Superplex. Other sponsors include Credit Suisse, Leno, Atlantis, Aliv and Lowes.

At a press conference on Monday, Camille Lady Barnett, a member of Zonta, said the event is in keeping with Zonta’s mission to improve the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women at the global and local level though service and advocacy.

“With this event we are hosting a fundraiser that will help women in crisis while fostering a healthy discussion about women’s place in Bahamian society. Our theme ‘Better balance, better world’ was taken from the theme for International Women’s Day: ‘Balance for better, better the balance, better the world’, which means that when women and girls participate equally in society, a better society is created,” Lady Barnett said.

She explained that the event will consist of two special showings. The first showing on Wednesday, March 20, is for senior high and University of The Bahamas students and will include a movie viewing with snacks and a discussion led by Marion Bethel-Sears, attorney and Bahamas representative on the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, and Dr. Harrison Thompson, psychologist.

The second showing on Thursday, March 21 is for the general public. Dubbed “Cinema Mix and Mingle”, this event will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with light bites and a “Women and Art” exhibition curated by Katrina Cartwright of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas and featuring the works of diverse female Bahamian artists from around the archipelago. The movie will start at 6:30 p.m., leading into an interactive discussion facilitated by Marion Bethel-Sears and Dr. Ian Bethell-Bennett, associate professor, University of The Bahamas.

The donation for “Cinema Mix and Mingle” is $40 with proceeds going to purchase women’s care kits for women to donate to the Bahamas Crisis Centre and the Salvation Army. The care kits include deodorant, soap, sanitary pads/pantyliners, toothpaste and toothbrushes, combs, etc. for women who have been displaced from their homes due to domestic violence. If funds permit, some proceeds will also go to sponsor a short film against gender-based violence to be viewed in schools, on television and as a filler in theaters. Tickets can be purchased online at www.fusionsuperplex.com and at the cinema’s box office. Additional donations are also welcomed to purchase items for the care kits.

Latoya Johnson, president, Zonta Club of Nassau, said beyond providing an interactive and enjoyable social experience, she is hopeful that the event will accomplish a number of objectives.

“We hope this event will stimulate conversations about the importance of equality for both men and women, the empowerment of women and girls, gender inequality and overcoming obstacles to aspirations for women and girls. We also hope it will sensitize people, young and old, male and female, to the historical and contemporary issues of gender inequality,” Johnson said.

Charnette Thompson, director of sales at REV, noted that as the only truly Bahamian triple play provider, REV boasts a staff complement of nearly 500 with over 48 percent women, who are making their contribution to build a better company, community and country.

“ In conjunction with Aliv and Fusion, we’re also proud to sponsor this event and honor the past, present and future Ruth Bader Ginsburgs in our lives who’ve blazed trails as mothers, grandmothers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, engineers, architects, police, priests and governor generals. I hope one day to add prime minister to this list of achievements,” Thompson said.

She encouraged schools and youth organizations to consider watching “On The Basis of Sex” this week as part of class or group activities, and to use the movie as a catalyst for discussions about “better balance in all aspects of society, and greater respect for the softer voices in the room”.

“The Zonta Cinema ‘Mix & Mingle’ on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. is also an excellent opportunity to enjoy the movie and support this charitable cause in aid of the Bahamas Crisis Centre and Salvation Army,” Thompson said.

Dominic Richards, chief operating officer of Fusion Superplex, said the company is pleased to sponsor this Zonta event because it aligns with Fusion’s community goals of building a better society through social interaction and dialogue.

“We believe that Zonta has plugged into the right spirit of the community. A big part of this is hosting ‘On the Basis of Sex’. This movie fully explains some of the challenges facing the average Bahamian woman, whether it’s in college or in the workforce and we are very proud to sponsor a civic organization that understands that you don’t stand on the side when issues come up. You move to the forefront and you become a champion for that cause and that is why we are pleased to partner with the Zonta Club of Nassau,” Richards said.

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