Naples, Italy - Joint Force Command Naples personnel and their families celebrated International Women’s Day with
the theme of “#EachforEqual” on Friday, March 6, 2020.
JFC Naples Commander, Admiral James G. Foggo III, provided opening remarks for the event, highlighting the important role women play in accomplishing JFC Naples’ military missions, “Women are
indispensable in every aspect of our lives. Women’s contributions to NATO are indispensable.”
Warrant Officer Beth Lacelle discussed her upbringing and education. In school as a young girl she was told that she could not be a well-driller like her father. From that point on Lacelle knew she didn’t want to play by the societal norms.
Lacelle dared the listening crowd to be different, saying that being equal doesn’t mean being the same, because it’s in our differences where real change happens.
Erika Monticone, NATO South Direction HUB Gender Advisor, discussed her days in Afghanistan, where she started a volleyball team with local women. The sport provided the women “freedom to exist,” Monticone said.
The organizers then played a short video compilation of interviews of some of JFC Naples’ female personnel, and their valuable contributions to the work of JFC Naples.
The event concluded with every woman present receiving a mimosa flower bouquet, which has symbolized International Women’s day in Italy since March 8, 1946, due to its resilient properties such
as growing on arid land while still remaining delicate and fragrant.
International Women’s Day was first organized in 1911 and continues to this day. This year’s theme emphasizes that an equal world is an enabled world, and that people can choose to challenge gender-
based stereotypes in their everyday lives.
International Women’s day is a global event celebrating the many achievements of women in society, from political to cultural, and also serves as a reminder that the fight for women’s equality is ongoing.