International Women’s Day will be recognized at both UNBC and CNC.
Inspiring Women Among Us has partnered with a local small business, Jodye Creations to have people come and tie-dye tote bags between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. today.
“That’s to get people doing something active at kind of a tough time of the year,” said Zoe Meletis, Faculty Member in Geography, Earth, and Environmental Sciences, and founding Member of Inspiring Women Among Us.
“Getting them creating, getting them thinking about everything women carry, both literally and figuratively, and also getting their hands dirty and doing something fun and supporting a local business.”
At 5:00 p.m., Dr. Daniel Sims will be giving a lecture as part of the Indigenous 101 series in the Gathering Place at UNBC, and will also be available by Zoom.
“It’s a very difficult topic, it’s gender, which is fitting for March 8th,” Meletis said.
“As we know, there are hundreds, if not thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and so that’s likely to be featured in his lecture that day.”
Meletis added Friday will be sort of an extension of International Women’s Day as the Global Friday series will feature a talk by Dr. Afsoun Afsahi on gender and deliberative democracy.
Celebrate #InternationalWomensDay2023 w @IWAU_Events, Northern Pride Centre, EDI @UNBC, Global Friday, & friends, March 8th + 10th. Details in attached image. Sample tote bag image attached too. ALL GENDERS WELCOME! Watch 4 upcoming NWC rally too! #InternationalWomensDay Pls RT pic.twitter.com/LAyhIibgcD
— Zoë Meletis (@zedtweetz) March 3, 2023
“Importantly, the history of International Women’s Day is not an academic one,”
“It’s from people who were fighting for women’s rights, kind of in the trenches, fighting for legal personhood, fighting for voting rights, fighting for worker’s rights. International Women’s Day is important for everybody. Universities give us a place and a home to help mark it, and so we think it’s important. Women are key contributors in society, and now we see efforts in different places to peel back women’s rights or to question who’s a woman, and so it’s really important to acknowledge International Women’s Day and to think about all the progress made, but also think about the work left to be done.”
Meletis noted that Inspiring Women Among Us is a community group with ties to the university.
“We really believe that trans rights are human rights, and trans women are women,” she explained.
“It’s kind of a non-issue for us. Anybody who self-identifies as a woman is a woman, and we want to sat that on this day and basically every day, because we know that there is still a lot of violence experienced by trans women. When we think about women’s struggles, the most marginalized women often bear the most disproportionate burden or struggle the most and have to fight the most just for basic lives.”
Over at the College of New Caledonia, roses will be given out to anyone who identifies as a woman, and they will be talking to students about the significance of International Women’s Day and empowering women in the workplace.
“The number of women coming into school has increased significantly,” said CNC Student’s Union Executive Director Leila Abubakar-Depenau.
“But also with that increase, there’s also an increase in sexual harassment on campuses and violations of their safe spaces. It’s very important to celebrate this day and internationally acknowledge it because it lets women students know they deserve to occupy these spaces and to know that these to know these services, facilities, and capabilities we’ve put in place so they can have a good student experience.”
The theme of International Women’s Day at the College of New Caledonia this year is “equity,” which is something that is important to Abubakar-Depenau.
“Equality does not mean equity, it means you give people as many opportunities as other people,” she explained.
“I’m a person of a visible minority, I am a female, I’m visible dark-skinned because I’m originally from Kenya, and sometimes when there’s opportunities, they have this check mark right now in the workplaces where they want to hire people who are women or a visible minority.”
Abubakar-Depenau noted she loves working at the college because there are lots of powerful women at the college.
“Our VP of Finance is female, our VP of Student Affairs is female,” she said.
“We have lots of places where we have female leaders in place, and I think it sets a good precedent for students on the campus because they look and they say ‘oh hey, look at this, you can be whatever you want to be with lots of dedication and a little bit of drive,’ so I just think that’s awesome. We always have to talk bout equality and equity in the workplace.”