Phenomenal Woman Tour to share women's triumphs

By NADINE WILSON All Woman writer wilsonn@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, September 26, 2011

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A positive atmosphere is an essential component to getting women to realise their fullest potential; and it is this kind of environment that event co-ordinator Charlene Fagan hopes to replicate when she hosts the inaugural Phenomenal Woman — Get Into Your Power Tour 2011 in Jamaica in the next two weeks.


Fagan, a Canadian resident who was born in Jamaica, decided to create the event after her encounter with women from all walks of life led her to appreciate even further the necessity of sisterhood for the sharing of joys and sorrows.


The Phenomenal Woman Tour (PWT) is expected to place women from Canada, Jamaica, North America and Europe in one space for entertainment, relaxation and empowerment.


"I think women share many common experiences, some of which include parenting, gender role expectations, home life situations, and of course, they share a woman-to-woman type of experience," Fagan explained to All Woman last week.


"Women have a unique need to share with each other many of these experiences which allows for a special bond that enables them to cope with life in a way that is very different from men. Sometimes, unfortunately, these very same experiences can create dissonance among each other," she said.


The PWT will be hosted Sunday, October 9, at the Mona Visitor's Lodge, and will see the sharing of triumphant personal and business success stories from other women. Keynote speaker for the event will be Jamaica's first Olympic bobsled team member Devon Harris, who is currently an international motivational speaker and author.


The first phenomenal woman event was held in March of this year in Canada as an honour to women during International Women's Month. Based on the success of that event, Fagan decided to expand it into a tour.


"I wanted to celebrate, honour, and empower the "ordinary" woman — although I think all women are extraordinary — who is unnoticed by society. I saw how powerful women are and the way that they subdue their power. Many women do this when they are in pain or experiencing some life-altering situation. I see how they relinquish their powers and inner strength for the sake of others as well," she said.


Fagan migrated to Canada with her family in 2002, but prior to doing so, she lived in the Cayman Islands and  Florida. She is currently a professor of human relations and sociology at The Sheridan Institute of Technology and Higher Learning and in 2008 opened Charlene's Closet and Bridal Boutique to cater to the fashion sense of women in Ontario.


"Opening this business was another faith move, which allows me to live out my passion. I am somewhat a bit of a rebel so when someone says to me, 'How are you going to do that?' I am inspired to do it anyway," she said.


Fagan says she hopes to get involved in different charities and community events in the coming year. In fact, part proceeds from the PWT will be going towards the Keep On Pushing Foundation which was founded by Harris to bring hope and create opportunities for kids in disadvantaged areas around the globe.


One focus for the foundation is supporting a breakfast programme for the students of Drews Avenue Primary School in Kingston.


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