Celebrating International Women’s Day

March 8, 2012

On March 8 millions of people around the world will celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the achievements of women and reflect on what still has to be done to achieve equality. It is also a day to embrace the women in our lives and consider what we can do to improve the lives of women today and in the future. 

The United Nations 2015 International Women’s Day theme is “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!” It encourages us to envision a world where each woman and girl can participate in politics, get an education, have an income, and live in a society free from violence and discrimination. 

In 2015, International Women’s Day will highlight the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments 20 years ago that sets the agenda for realizing women’s rights. While there have been many achievements since then, many serious gaps remain. This is the time to uphold women’s achievements, recognize challenges, and focus greater attention on women’s rights and gender equality to mobilize all people to do their part.

Another international theme adopted by women’s organizations this year is “Make It Happen.” 

The MoveUP Women’s Rights Committee invites you to help us Make it Happen. Doing nothing will not change the lives of women now or in the future. All too often we hear about women’s issues and are left asking ourselves what we can do.

One way you can get involved is  by supporting the ongoing struggle for affordable, accessible quality childcare in Canada. The Canadian Labour movement is making this issue front and centre as we head into a federal election later this year. 

Here are some other ways you can Make it Happen for women:

  • Become informed;
  • Speak out;
  • Ask a woman in your life what issues she is facing;
  • Attend an IWD event in your community;
  • Support your MoveUP Women’s Rights Committee;
  • Donate to a women’s shelter or women’s centre in your community;
  • Ask your MLA or MP what they are doing to support women;
  • Sign a petition for a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women;
  • Be More than a Bystander; or  
  • Improve language in your collective agreement for things like bullying and harassment, maternity and parental benefits, leave and support for elder care and child care, pay equity, and retirement benefits.

But most importantly, on March 8 the MoveUP Women’s Rights Committee invites you to celebrate the women in your life, past, present and future. 

If you have any questions or would like to know how you can help Make it Happen, please feel free to contact the Women’s Rights Committee.

(photo “Aramaki rose park11s2816″ by 663highland – 663highland.” Licensed under CC BY 2.5)