International Women's Day 2023





The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) - UK convened the commemoration of the United Nations International Women’s Day (IWD) on Thursday 9th March 2023 in the UPF UK HQ, 43 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA and online. The main focus was showing different avenues of empowerment for women. For this purpose, we invited speakers who expressed their own take on empowering women. UPF - UK honours International Women’s Day by holding an annual event to address the inclusion and equality of women in the modern world.  (see photos here)

Moderator: Margaret Keverian-Ali: Director of UPF - UK


A panel was moderated by our most esteemed Patron of UPF, Yvonne Thompson, CBE, FRSA. She is a British businesswoman, a managing director of a marketing and PR company, 'ASAP Communications', and president of the 'European Federation of Black Women Business Owners'. She sought to inspire particularly businesswomen and female entrepreneurs. Her fellow panelists were young entrepreneurs who she has supported and encouraged. (See video here)

Yvonne Thompson, CBE, FRSA Moderating the Panel including:

- Tukiya Mutupa CEO & Founder, Pomi and Seeds

Tukiya is the founder of Pomi and Seeds. The company Pomi and Seeds design thinking and the circular economy model to revolutionise the way women wear, shop for and care for their lingerie throughout the life cycle of their product. The Seeds in their name represent the way they impact communities. They will be launching their first sets of lingerie this Summer 2023. Tukiya has a background in public health, she currently also works as programme manager in the NHS, working for a youth violence reduction programme as part of the NHS Violence Reduction Programme. She has also worked in the Commonwealth Secretariat health team on policy and research on public health, cervical cancer, access to health for women, and intersection of health and climate.  She is a trustee at the Desmond Tutu Foundation UK. Her academic background includes a Masters from London School of Economics and Undergraduate from Hertfordshire University. 

- Yoanna Chikezie is the  CEO & Founder, The Assembly | Creative Consultant & Enterprise Trainer LinkedIn | Twitter Yoanna also fondly called Pepper is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Assembly - The Assembly is building a bridge between African creatives and international fashion companies that seek skilled and diverse talent to grow their brands and businesses with ease. At the heart of their mission is a commitment to women, community engagement, championing unheard voices, and creatively nurturing young creatives.

The Assembly has impacted over 4000 individuals and enterprises in West Africa. Yoanna is an award-winning entrepreneur and accomplished creative industries consultant with over 15 years of experience in International Development and the Cultural Industries across public, private, and charity sectors. Yoanna has developed world-class creative partnerships between brands and causes to deliver social impact with organisations such as The UN International Trade Centre, Mastercard Foundation, Baobab Foundation and Do It Now Now.

- Olivia Simpson is a data protection lawyer and the founder of JAMCAN JUICE.

Growing up in a Caribbean takeaway in Peckham shaped her life to hold onto her Jamaican roots throughout living a very London life. JAMCAN JUICE was born out of the desire to transport tastebuds to the tropics using Caribbean calm by wedding traditional Jamaican flavours and CBD in a juice shot.  IG: @jamcanjuice  Website: 

Following the Panel were:

Ernest Kamga, (see video here) an SEO, graphic and web designer, addressed the importance of embracing digital avenues for the quicker stimulation of gender equality. He encouraged everyone to embrace innovation and technology in the quest for gender equality.

Aditi Sharma, a senior software engineer at 'Cognizant Technology Solutions', also inspired the audience to embrace the digital and AI era and advertised the gender equality advantages that it offers. (see video here)

Two Young Achievers spoke about the empowerment of women and the importance of improving male attitudes toward women.

• Hera Kruja: Journalist, Model and Senior Project Manager (see video here)

• Reuben Johnson: Sociology with Politics student at the University of Greenwich (see video here)

• Marie Hanson MBE, CEO and Founder of STORM Family Centre (see video here)

• Dr. Sangita Shrestha PhD: Communications Manager of Feed the Minds (see video here)

The male speakers passionately supported women and gender equality.

The speech of Keith Best, the Chair of UPF - UK Board of Trustees, can be read here (also see video here)

Kostas Kapelas, the Founder and Head Practitioner of Total Health Now Clinic, relayed how important he believes gender equality is for the improvement of modern society. (see video here) 

Robin Marsh, Secretary General UPF - UK gave Closing Remarks to summarise some of the important contributions of the programme and to emphasise that UPF is led by a woman, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who encourages us to participate in an era where women's leadership will facilitate human development across the world as a whole. 




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