International Women's Day 2011

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Maysie Maysie's picture
International Women's Day 2011

Please post events you hear about across Canada for IWD 2011.

Here's the event in Toronto:


International Women's Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women's Day is a national holiday.

IWD has been celebrated for more than 100 years. In Toronto, IWD has traditionally been a rally and march, and is organized by a committee of social justice, labour, health and women's rights activists.

IWD Toronto 2011

Saturday, March 12
Rally: 11AM, OISE Auditorium, 252 Bloor St West
March: 1PM
Fair: 1:30PM, Ryerson Student Centre, 55 Gould St

Issues Pages: 



La Fédération des Femmes du Québec is holding a lunch-in at Complexe Desjardins, by the Place des Arts métro entrance, starting at noon (BYOL) to launch a campaign against the Charest government's health care tax (being phased in from $25 per adult to $100 later this year and $200 in 2012):


ETA: That's on March 8, of course... in Montréal.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Bulletin board for IWD events (searchable by geographic location)


Krystalline Kraus Krystalline Kraus's picture

Activist Communique: Floating an idea for International Women's Day

February 23, 2011 | By Krystalline Kraus |


I have an idea for Toronto's International Women's Day this year and I could use some feedback. Please see here to read the proposal.

Krystalline Kraus Krystalline Kraus's picture

Activist Communique: Floating an idea for International Women's Day

February 23, 2011 | By Krystalline Kraus |


I have an idea for Toronto's International Women's Day this year and I could use some feedback. Please see here to read the proposal.

Maysie Maysie's picture


Wednesday March 9, 2011

6pm to 9pm

Sandgate Women's Shelter of York Region presents:

International Women's Day: Women and the Justice System

Guest speakers, entertainment, refreshments

Regional Municipality of York

17250 Yonge Street, Newmarket, Ontario

Please RSVP if childcare is required. Farsi, Urdu, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin and ASL interpreters provided.

RSVP to Minnie at 905.476.8992


Maysie Maysie's picture

Letter to Rob Ford from the Toronto International Women's Day Committee


Dear Mayor Rob Ford,

March 8 2011 marks the hundredth year of International Women's Day, a day to celebrate and remember the struggles and achievements of women from diverse backgrounds living in our city and around the world. Women of Toronto are coming together to defend our city, our services and our future. As our Mayor, we are calling on you to consider budget decisions carefully and to understand the magnitude of how a decision to cut services in our city will affect the women who help keep Toronto moving.

According to the city of Toronto's statistics, girls and women account for 52% of Toronto's population. These girls and women come from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds, many are newcomers to Canada, are single mothers, and face many barriers based on our gender, race, ability, and sexual orientation. Women pay taxes, and work in Toronto's growing precarious employment sector, all work in the home without pay, and many are under and unemployed. In a 2010 report of the Toronto Women's City Alliance, women respondents indicated that municipal services such as housing, shelter, transit, childcare, employment, public parks and recreation, community centres and support services, are of greatest value to them.

As girls and women living in Toronto, we depend on accessible affordable public services to fully engage as equals in our communities. To this day, decades after pay equity legislation, women in Canada only make only 73 cents to every dollar that a man makes. Proposed cuts to transit, affordable housing, and recreational centres will disproportionately affect women from low income and other marginalized groups, and only further isolate the majority of us from our city. Already, many of us have lost our jobs, and are under-employed or unemployed. At this time of economic difficulties and a decline in employment and as well, a decrease in full time and permanent jobs, women in Toronto need your support!

Affordable, reliable, safe, and accessible public transit has been identified by women in Toronto as a key service that is needed to connect us to our city. The recent cuts to service routes, your rejection of Transit City and the looming increase in transit user fees will only inhibit women from being able to participate in everyday life, and most of all, in the labour force. Transit connects communities. It's the way in which many women get to work and school, and provides us the means by which we can access the many services and programs that our city has to offer. As girls and women, we are concerned about the continued cuts to public transit and urge you to prioritize instead the expansion and improvement of a efficient and affordable public transit system as one of the basic prerequisites to building a healthier workforce, and therefore, a strengthened economy.

At a time when our federal government is making cuts to immigrant services, girls and women now, more than ever, need our city to prioritize affordable access to publically funded community and recreational centres. The current labour force greatly depends on women who are newcomers, immigrants and migrant workers. Imposing a user fee on community centers is an attack on women who come from low income and marginalized backgrounds, and who groups depend on these centres to access the tools, skills, and the community services needed for them to integrate into Canadian Society.

In Toronto, 24% of women live bellow the poverty line, and many struggle to get themselves meaningful employment. The decision to cut services made by the City of Toronto have a direct and disproportionately negative impact on the girls and women who live in this city. On this International Women's Day we call upon you to show leadership and consider with more seriousness, the needs of girls and women in Toronto. We ask that you make a commitment to maintain and improve funding to ensure our city's services are public, accessible and affordable for all.

International Women's Day Committee 2011

P.S. To Rob Ford from Maysie: Fuck You!

Maysie Maysie's picture

This sounds very cool. I'm going to try to be there.


Invite to launch of Policy on preventing sexual and gender-based harassment

In partnership with the Ryerson Students' Union, Ryerson University and the CAW-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, the Ontario Human Rights Commission invites you to celebrate International Women's Day at the launch of its new Policy on preventing sexual and gender-based harassment

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
10 a.m. - 12 noon
Ryerson University
Oakham House - Room SCC115
55 Gould Street, Toronto

Speakers will include:
Sheldon Levy, President, Ryerson University
Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC)
Winnie Ng, CAW-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, Ryerson University
Representative from Ryerson Students' Union
Cherie Robertson, Senior Policy Analyst, OHRC

The new policy focuses on the areas of:
 employment
 housing
 education (from primary to post-secondary levels)

The policy covers a range of issues relating to sexual harassment, including:
 how the Ontario Human Rights Code protects against sexual and gender-based harassment
 how to identify sexual harassment
 how to identify gender-based harassment (harassment because someone does not conform to traditional sex-role stereotypes)
 violence
 responsibilities of employers, housing providers, education providers and others
 practical tips on how to prevent sexual and gender-based harassment

Please respond by Friday, March 4, 2011 by replying to this e-mail ([email protected]). If you would like to respond by telephone or need accommodation based on a Code ground to attend, please call Vicky Masellis at 416-314-4526.

Ryerson University and the OHRC encourage you to forward this invitation to others who may have an interest in preventing sexual and gender-based harassment, and in learning more about the OHRC's new policy.


Maysie Maysie's picture


When it comes to ending violence against women, it starts with being heard.

On March 8, Women's College Hospital wants you to be inspired by the heroic women of Burma.


Please join us for the Toronto premiere of the documentary This Is My Witness - a film about two
Burmese women, and their incredible journey of survivorship and the path to justice - followed
by a panel discussion with leading-edge thinkers. We hope you'll discover how global issues
affect women's lives locally, and that all of us can become leaders of change.

Guest Speakers Include:
• Julaine Eberhard, PhD, LLB - Co-ordinator of the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women of Burma
• Janice Du Mont, EdD - Scientist, Women's College Research Institute
• Johanna MacDonald, LLB - Chair of Toronto Working Group, Canadian Centre for International Justice
• Sheila Macdonald, RN, MN - Provincial Co-ordinator of the Ontario Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centres
• Pah Wah A Burmese woman, living in Toronto, who supported a testifier in the International Tribunal on Crimes
Against Women of Burma

To RSVP please email [email protected]. Seating is limited.

Women Leading Change: International Women's Day Event
Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m
Metro-Central YMCA, 20 Grosvenor St., Toronto
Free admission


Maysie Maysie's picture

JOIN the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty contingent at the International Women's Day March!

Raise the Rates Contingent
Saturday, March 12th, 2011
Meeting: 12:30 @ Bedford and Bloor (outside of the OISE building, 252 Bloor Street West)

Approximately 840,000 people in Ontario are on Social Assistance (OW and ODSP) - the vast majority are Women and Children. People are forced to live on Welfare and Disability rates that are shamefully inadequate. After welfare rates were cut by the Harris Tories in 1995 by 21.6%, and Disability rates were frozen, people's income levels have continued to fall for 16 straight years. Today, with inflation and the cost of living increase since 1995, people are living on Social Assistance rates that are 55% below where they should be for an adequate living standard!

Now as the economy continues to slump and the need is greater than ever, this Government is destroying the vital Special Diet Allowance that has enabled people to survive. The new system they have proposed will provide benefits for fewer conditions and applicants will have to release medical information and face other intrusive measures designed to prevent access to the benefit.

We know that poverty disproportionately affects women. Far too often, women are faced with violent situations, have trouble fleeing abuse, have little access to the resources that they need, and are then re-traumatized because of the social assistance system monitoring. We know that the lack of adequate affordable childcare and supports means that many single mom's have little choice but to try to scrape by on inadequate social assistance.

We demand the right to decent income and a future free of poverty. We believe that Poverty is a Feminist issue - and on March 12th we plan to join with International Women's Day under the banner of 'End Poverty and Violence Against Women - Raise Social Assistance Rates Now!'

Join with OCAP Women, trans folks and allies on March 12th.
Join with OCAP again on April 1st for a large mobilization against the the McGuinty Government.

For more information about IWD visit:
Contact OCAP: [email protected], 416-925-6939

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Not an event, but a pretty great video from accross the pond:


N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

clap clap

Maysie Maysie's picture

Happy IWD everyone!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Up with women!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Antonia Zerbisas:


Not to pick on him in particular, but here's one's man take on the matter:

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff made the following statement on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day:

"100 years ago tomorrow, the first International Women's Day was established in 1911 to campaign for women's rights to work, vote, hold public office and end gender discrimination.

"Today, International Women’s Day celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women across the globe..."

I wonder. Do women celebrate how far they've come in Congo, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, on the Highway of Tears, in low-income areas where single Moms live right here in Toronto ... ?

Meanwhile, in the US and, to a lesser extent, in Canada, there's a war on women's rights.

Sorry, but I can't get it up for International Women's Day.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

“Women’s Rights are Workers’ Rights:” Kavita Ramdas on History of International Women’s Day and Challenges Women Face 100 Years Later

Yes. Well, I was sharing with a friend yesterday, who said, "Oh, do you know it’s International Women’s Day?" And I said, "Yes. And do you know that we should be standing in solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin?" And she said, "What do the two have to do with each other?" And I said, "Everything."

And you mentioned that the Socialist Party of America was the first organization to really call for a celebration of a National Women’s Day, which was then adopted by the Socialist International. I think the connection between women’s rights and workers’ rights has always been a very key part of this, a recognition of women’s productive contributions to society, not just their reproductive contributions to society. And I think that that’s one of the arenas in which suddenly those of us who grew up in the rest of the world grew up sort of marching and celebrating International Women’s Day, with a view to this joint goal of having women be full and equal participants in all aspects of their societies.


Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Shameless: Why International Women’s Day matters

 This morning I woke up to an unsurprisingly inaccurate column from Margaret Wente aimed at Western privileged women, in which she argues that “the war for women’s rights is over. And we won.” Right. She writes:


People who persist in looking for systemic discrimination against women in (name your field here) seem more and more desperate. They might as well complain about discrimination against male kindergarten teachers. We are finally learning that equality can also mean the freedom to make different choices.


Funny that Wente should base her column on the freedom to make choices, given the persistence of rampant sexism in the West. Here are just a few examples from now and a few years back:


RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

A host at the all sports station in Toronto thought today would be a good day to trash women's sports.  I tried to call but couldn't get through.  And thanks for all the posts here, I didn't find much around my bird cage material.


Happy IWD!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture


And while it’s true that women, particularly those lucky enough to be living in the Western world, enjoy a sense of freedom unparalleled at any time in human history, have we really won the war for equality, thereby rendering the concept of feminism obsolete?

Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente seems to think so. In a controversial piece earlier this week, she laments that International Women’s Day doesn’t have much significance in the West anymore, likening it to a marketing opportunity or “an excuse for women’s grievance groups to keep griping”. She backs this up with statistics about women’s ever-growing enrollment in post-secondary institutions, a life expectancy that surpasses men’s, and couples opting for girls when seeking out high-tech sex selection.

I think she’s completely missing the point. Feminism is just as relevant now as ever. According to the recent CBC documentary, “The F Word: Who Wants to be a Feminist”, women make up 53% of the world’s population but own only 1% of the world’s wealth. And while women constitute more than half the work force, they still take home an average of 20% less pay. That sure doesn’t sound like equality to me.

The F Word: We’ve come a long way baby... but is it far enough?