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UPDATE: International Women’s Day 2012

Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams recently wrote in the Ottawa Citizen about her participation in “a delegation of prominent women from Canada and the U.S. — lawyers, women’s rights experts, journalists and artists — to Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.” She highlighted, “There we heard testimonies from more than 200 women affected first-hand by the increasing levels of violence in the region. …Increasingly, private security firms being hired by mining companies, mega projects and the business elite in Honduras are behind the extreme violence against women.”

In March 2010, Council of Canadians water campaigner Meera Karunananthan pointed out, “The Harper government’s claim that it plans to make maternal health a G8 priority is at odds with its efforts to prevent water from being recognized as a human right in international law and its promotion of water privatization in Canada and around the world. Good health begins with access to clean, safe drinking water and women are disproportionately affected when governments fail to provide adequate water and sanitation services.”

These are the kind of issues that will discussed at our ‘Shout Out against Mining Injustice’ conference this June 1-3 in Vancouver.

Last year, Judy Rebick wrote about the history of IWD. She noted, “From the beginning, IWD was about a more inclusive women’s movement and a more feminist political movement. In 1911, the first International Women’s Day marches were held across Europe. …The first visible celebration of IWD in Canada was in Quebec, but the first IWD march was in 1978, when a small Marxist group with strong feminist leadership decided to try a re-establish the tradition of IWD in Canada. Varda Burstyn, representing that group, approached Carolyn Egan with the proposal to organize women across issues and organizations and hold an IWD march. They felt a visible presence of the women’s movement was needed and that feminists needed to unite with their allies across issues.”

For a listing of IWD events across Canada, please go to www.internationalwomensday.com/search.asp?country=37.

For Council of Canadians IWD messages from past years, please go to http://canadians.org/blog/?p=114 (2009); http://canadians.org/blog/?p=2678 (2010); and http://canadians.org/blog/?p=5828 (2011).