International Women’s Day (IWD), taking place on Saturday, March 8th, 2014, is an extremely significant event to women and feminists globally. It is a reminder to the world to pause to celebrate women and consider how further progress can be had for females around the world.
The first IWD was held on March 19th, 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. After this event, other countries in Europe caught on and began recognizing the day annually. Later, in 1975, the United Nations (UN) declared it International Women’s Year. Only two years later in 1977 did the UN officially instate an annual International Women’s Day, to be taken place on March 8th.
This year, the UN has elected the theme: “Equality for women is progress for all.” The focus is on the improvement of economic and social conditions through gender empowerment and the important role of women as innovators.
From this theme, Canada has chosen a more specific theme: “Strong Women. Strong Canada. Canadian Women – Creating Jobs One Business At a Time.” The emphasis is on women entrepreneurs, how they contribute to the Canadian business landscape, and how their development can be fostered and supported.
Since the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, CFUW has raised funds for projects and programs in developing countries for IWD. Last year, the organization raised over $4000 for the International Federation of University Women’s (IFUW) Bina Roy Partners in Development (BRPID) Programme. This year, CFUW and its various national clubs and chapters will be supporting the BRPID Programme once again
CFUW Clubs organize a diversity of events and fundraisers across the country to celebrate IWD, but our National Office is also involved in organizing the Feminist Games in Ottawa, a lively get-together to celebrate IWD. Head to the Library and Archives Canada at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 8th, 2014, for entertainment, food, cash bar, and childcare for free! It will be a great night out and an excellent opportunity to support women’s rights. Along with CFUW the event is organized by Amnesty International Canada, Inter Pares, Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW), Oxfam Canada, Planned Parenthood Ottawa. Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), and World University Services of Canada (WUSC).
The UN is holding an observance at their headquarters in New York on Friday, March 7th, 2014. If you’re interested, check out the webcast.
If you’re looking for something easy to fill your time this weekend in Ottawa, Wall Space Gallery is featuring young female artists from Saturday, March 8th, 2014 to Sunday, March 30th, 2014
How are you celebrating International Women’s Day this year?