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Victoria chapter organizes for International Women’s Day

The Council of Canadians Victoria chapter will be taking part in International Women’s Day actions on Wednesday March 8.

The Victoria Times Colonist reports, “Local advocacy groups have banded together for International Women’s Day this year on an event that will go from a memorial along Dallas Road to a downtown discussion of gender in the workplace.”

The event will begin at 6 pm at Holland Point Park where there is an École Polytechnique Women’s Memorial Plaque that commemorates the fourteen women murdered at that school in Montreal because of their gender.

Chapter activist Barbara Mitchell-Pollock says people can bring a candle to honour any woman and that there will be poetry and music as well. From the park, a shuttle bus will be available to help get people to the Victoria Event Centre for a screening of the film ‘Dish: Women, Waitressing & the Art of Service’ and a discussion about gendered experiences in the workplace.

Mitchell-Pollock notes, “The economic and rights parts are important because that’s how International Women’s Day started.”

She says the chapter doesn’t normally organize around International Women’s Day, “but there was a lot of interest with the Women’s March in January.” Sixteen Council of Canadians chapters took part in that march on January 21, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration as the President of the United States.

And Mitchell-Pollock adds everyone is welcome because, “When women are empowered, everyone is empowered.”

In its promotion for the day, the chapter also acknowledges the lands in the City of Victoria as the traditional territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt nations.

The Council of Canadians as a national organization also stands in support of the #DayWithoutAWoman general strike.

As noted on the organizing website, “On International Women’s Day, March 8th, women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity. In the same spirit of love and liberation that inspired the Women’s March, we join together in making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system–while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity.”

One can take action in the following ways:

  • Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labour

  • Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses)

  • Wear red in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman

The strike will take place in at least forty countries around the world.

The Council of Canadians denounces sexism and gender-based violence and harassment – and is committed to ending sexism and violence against women. We believe in gender justice and the protection of the human rights of gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans, Two-Spirit and gender nonconforming people.