Happy March to all the women of the world! What’s so great about March you ask??? Well, March is our month since on March 8th we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). And the cherry on top is that this year is the IWD CENTENARY which means that this year we get to celebrate 100 years of women’s achievements!
Hundreds of events occur around the world not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organizations, governments and women’s groups around the world choose different themes each year that reflect global and local gender issues. Canada’s theme for 2011 is: “Strong Leadership. Strong Women. Strong World: Equality”. That’s a meaningful theme, and I think you’ll agree that it warrants an equally meaningful show of support and solidarity from Canadian women.
There will be thousands of events held in honour of the women of the world on IWD and Canada has been surpassed only by the United Kingdom in holding the greatest number of IWD events.
For example, to show its support for IWD, BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre will be offering short presentations featuring women’s health researchers and advocates Drs. Jan Christilaw and Gina Ogilvie. Dr. Christilaw will speak about global maternal health and Dr. Ogilvie will present the Makerere University-UBC collaboration to fight against reproductive cancers in Uganda called the ASPIRe program. There will also be a screening of a feature documentary named “Eddibu” directed by Shanilla Abdula. The documentary sheds light onto the fact that in Uganda, over 150 women die unnecessarily each WEEK as a result of childbirth-related complications. Due to resource scarcity, health professionals find themselves frustrated and powerless to help dying mothers. This will take place from 11:45 AM to 1:00 PM in the BC Women’s Learning Room, IU27.
So grab your girlfriends and find out about the IWD events in your community. Events range from 100th anniversary parades to self-defense classes so there will be something for all to enjoy. Take the time next Tuesday to celebrate the successes of women for past 100 years and to advocate for our future progress. If you can’t make it to any of the events, take a moment to think about the women of the world and how you can make everyday International Women’s Day and do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.
Talk to you soon and live it up this March – WE DESERVE IT!!!
Giulia Muraca, BSc, MPH
Research Program Manager, BC HPV Research Group, Women’s Health Research Institute