University of Calgary

University celebrates International Women’s Day

UToday HomeMarch 8, 2013

By Calla Savary

Volunteers with the Women’s Resource Centre and Canadian Immigrant Women’s Association display hand-made parade banners.Volunteers with the Women’s Resource Centre and Canadian Immigrant Women’s Association display hand-made parade banners.Today (March 8) marks the worldwide celebration for International Women’s Day. Since the early 1900s International Women’s Day has represented a galvanized movement to address the needs of women and provoke change.

This is the second year in a row that the University of Calgary’s Women’s Resource Centre and six other women-focused local agencies will be organizing and hosting the International Women’s Day event.

“We are very pleased to once again be co-hosting this important event to create a celebration that will honor the global achievements of women past and present,” says Nanako Furuyama, co-ordinator, Women’s Resource Centre.

Calgarians are encouraged to head downtown today and join in festivities, from a parade down Stephen Avenue to live entertainment at Olympic Plaza as well as mini-fairs around downtown that will educate participants about the issues currently facing women in Calgary.

“International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women’s advancement and to recognize what still needs to be done,” explains Adrienne Kertzer, advisor to the President on women’s issues. “Such goals are totally consistent with the university’s core values. I could link International Women’s Day to several of the values outlined in Eyes High, but Globalization strikes me as particularly relevant for it states that we are ‘aware of global developments and act on opportunities to benefit the world we serve.’ ”

The struggles and inequalities faced by women span all borders and cultures. Even our own nation has a ways to go as it is estimated that every six days in Canada, a woman is killed by her intimate partner.

“It is generally perceived that women in Canada enjoy equality and the freedom to do what they wish,” remarks Jennifer McColl, manager of human resources at the Canadian Immigrant Women’s Association. “However, many women living in Canada still face inequality issues related to employment, family violence and health.”

International Women’s Day is a chance to stand up against these inequalities by bringing all Calgarians together to empower and appreciate all the women in their lives. “It provides women from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to share strengths as women,” says McColl. “There are few opportunities for members of the immigrant and mainstream community to celebrate holidays together.”

The parade will start from the corner 8th Avenue and 3rd Street S.W. at 11:30 a.m. and end at Olympic Plaza for the celebratory gathering beginning at noon.

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