Celebrating progress

by Reem Girgrah
International Women’s Day Soiree takes place at Antoinette’s Restaurant March 8 at 6 p.m. with free food, a dance party and an art show

In September, we “Take Back the Night” by taking to the streets reminding our community that self-identified women deserve to be safe on the street, out at parties with our friends, on dates and in cab rides home. And we Walk with our Sisters in Spirit in October to raise awareness of the alarming high rates of violence against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.

During the “16 Days to End Gender-Based Violence” in November, we raise awareness, have hard conversations about current economic and political alliances, and come together to mourn and remember those lives that have been taken too soon.

In January we “Marched On,” raising awareness about current events that have implications for self-identified women world-wide. In March, it’s time we celebrate! 

March 8 is International Women’s Day. On this day we take the time to appreciate one another, mark the progress made, call for change, and celebrate the determination of community members to improve the lives of individuals who identify as women.

Let’s be honest, change is not only made by our local organizations. There is public pressure and participation, which is why we come together to march and demonstrate, taking it to the streets and causing disruptions. Disruptions are powerful in the way that they can force people to pause and take notice of what is affecting the community.

Disruptions are what self-identified women deal with regularly through attempts to limit participation or silence our voices, the inappropriate comments or harassment and violence, or perpetuating expected or designated gendered roles.

Change is made through our interactions everyday – whether it is going to work, to the gym, raising children, caring for or teaching other people’s children, going to school, caring for our elders, being an independent entrepreneur, spending time with family, friends and loved ones, or deciding to stop and take care of ourselves.

Even just being in these spaces expresses our right to be safe, supported and thrive as self-identified women.

We don’t always have those moments and yet we carry on courageously. Other times we are relieved that we have each other and allies to lean on.

So on Thursday, March 8 let’s celebrate each other.

The Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre, Les EssentiElles, Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council, Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle, Yukon Status of Women Council and the Yukon Women’s Transition Home Society are hosting the International Women’s Day Soiree, inspired by the Yukon Women’s Awards Night held by the Women’s Directorate from 1990 to 2000.

Come out to Antoinette’s Restaurant! Bring your supports, loved ones and your fabulous self for a night of Antoinette’s delicious food, beats provided by DJ Mega Krahn, and check out Les EssentiElles collective art exhibit: “Vers un nouveau monde.”

This is a free event and everyone is welcome!

Can’t make it? Who are the self-identified women in your life who you think are courageous, fierce and inspirational to you in the choices they make and the way they keep pushing to be seen and treated as equals? Today is a great day to let them know!

The International Women’s Day Soiree takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 8 at Antoinette’s Restaurant, which is located at 4121 – 4th Avenue.

Check out the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre Facebook page for more information.

Reem Girgrah is the Court Watch Volunteer Coordinator at the Yukon Status of Women Council.
Originally from Ottawa/unceded Algonquin territory, if she isn’t advocating for human rights you can find her stand up paddling.

Bolstering sisterhood

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