International Women's Day 2012

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Maysie Maysie's picture
International Women's Day 2012


Maysie Maysie's picture



International Women's Day 2012! 
Saturday March 3

Rally 11AM 
OISE Auditorium, 
252 Bloor St. W

March 1PM

Fair 2PM 
Ryerson University, 55 Gould ST.


Organized by Women Working with Immigrant Women and the IWD Organizing Committee.
Fair organized by Ryerson Students' Union and Women's Centre 
Funded by CAW & USW

Info here. 


WE NEED MARSHALLS (preferably folks who identify as women, but feminist allies are always welcome!)

We will be holding a banner painting and marshal training:

Where: Ryerson Student Centre - 2nd floor lounge (near the women's centre)
When: Wednesday February 29, 2012
7pm - until we are done painting the banners!

Please circulate this among your email lists and have people confirm their attendance by sending an email to Jennifer at



Thanks Maysie!!

Red Tory Tea Girl

"WE NEED MARSHALLS (preferably folks who identify as women, but feminist allies are always welcome!)"

I don't live in Toronto, but it's nice to see that the movement's got their shit slightly more together in that city than previously reported. :)


hmm...that's odd. On my calender, it says International Women's Day is March 8th.  Anyone know why that would be?

Maysie Maysie's picture

Hey CanadaApple, you're right, IWD is March 8, but it's generally celebrated on the Saturday closest to March 8th every year. 



At least I haven't missed it. Sad, I used to have the celebrations marked in my calendar weeks in advance. I have an 8-year-old daughter and it's long past time to step up her schooling!


Maysie wrote:

Hey CanadaApple, you're right, IWD is March 8, but it's generally celebrated on the Saturday closest to March 8th every year. 

Ah, okay, thanks for clarifying. Smile

Maysie Maysie's picture

Statement from Canadian Labour Congress


International Women's Day is a time to celebrate the progress women have made, and a time to take action to break down the obstacles to women's equality.

Women in Canada now make up half of the workforce. But equal numbers do not necessarily mean equality at the workplace. Women work hard, but take home less pay, and are more likely to work in part-time and precarious jobs with fewer benefits and little or no workplace pensions. And women still take on the lion's share of caregiving and household responsibilities.


On this International Women's Day, the Canadian Labour Congress calls on the Federal government to do more to help women achieve economic, social and political equality in this country by investing in child care, establishing a national housing strategy, improving the Canada Pension Plan, taking meaningful action to end violence against women and address the national tragedy of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.

On this International Women's Day, Canada's labour movement will continue to break down the barriers to women's equality in the workplace and in society. We will fight for fair contracts for our members and for better labour standards for all workers. We will push for provisions that help women balance work and family life, like flexible work schedules, job-sharing, and family emergency leave. We will stand against austerity measures and cuts to public services, an important source of good jobs for women. We will take on corporate greed and advocate a clear vision for a Canada that works for everyone.



Maysie Maysie's picture

IWD: Bread and Roses remake by Queen Cee: YouTube

This is a beautiful musical and visual remake of that classic song.


Wishing everyone a very Happy International Women's Day - here is my new video "Shake the Tree"
in support of victims of violence! Please share and send out this message of hope and empowerment
to women and children everywhere! Peace and solidarity! :) xo

And if you like the song, you can download it for free on Myspace:

Maysie Maysie's picture

Wow, what an amazing video, towebgirl! Thank you!

And Happy IWD to everyone today.


From Québec solidaire's statement, [url= need jobs, recognition, and equality[/url]:

Last Saturday in a Montréal daily newspaper, Mme Christine St-Pierre, Minister for the Status of Women, said that she preferred talking to youth about equality rather than about feminism, and that we should use more moderate language if we want to get people's attention. "We in Québec solidaire do not agree with the Minister. I am a young feminist and proud of belonging to a party which speaks its mind clearly. At the bidding of the women's movement, we are fighting for significant reductions in social inequality, protection of public services, insuring everyone's ability to retire in dignity, measures for work-family balance, the elimination of violence against women, and the development of women's self-confidence in particular with respect to their body image. Those are the issues that matter to women as well as men on this March 8, 2012" concluded Emilie Guimond-Bélanger, chair of the National Women's Commission of Québec solidaire.

[My translation]

You may recall Émilie, the courageous young woman who gave the media [url=]an account of her arrest and detention[/url] during the 2010 G20 events in Toronto. She has also served as co-spokesperson of the party replacing Françoise David during her absences.

Happy International Women's Day!


fancy_punk fancy_punk's picture

Happy IWD to all, and this is just for Maysie: that quotation you posted on a thread of mine elsewhere? It deserves a wider audience. Like maybe we can start with this thread here? 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Hey fancy punk, I'm glad you liked the quote. The feminist forum doesn't exactly have the widest audience, but knock yourself out. Smile

Catchfire Catchfire's picture
fancy_punk fancy_punk's picture

Well things change sometimes, don't they? 

Bring the quotation! You did a great job before. I'm not so adept at that kind of thing. I literally failed cutting and pasting. And we didn't have have computers then. 


Happy IWD!! I miss volunteering for the big dance party in Toronto every IWD.

Maysie Maysie's picture

For you, fancy punk:

bell hooks wrote:

Visionary feminism is a wise and loving politics. ... The soul of feminist politics is the commitment to ending patriarchal domination of women and men, girls and boys. Love cannot exist in any relationship that is based on domination and coercion. Males cannot love themselves in patriarchal culture if their very self-definition relies on submission to patriarchal rules. When men embrace feminist thinking and practice, which emphasizes the value of mutual growth and self-actualization in all relationships, their emotional well-being will be enhanced. A genuine feminist politics always brings us from bondage to freedom, from lovelessness to loving.


Fantastic quote Maysie.  I love bell hooks!

fancy_punk fancy_punk's picture

Me, too. Thanks, Maysie. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Happy International Woman's Day!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Cherry Hopton has been suspended from her post at Angus College for rightly objecting to an event planned at the college to 'commemorate' International Women's Day. The college decided to celebrate IWD by giving all the women a red rose by a 'man in a grey suit' because, as the posters initially stated, 'all women love a bit of romance.'

Reinstate Cherry Hopton

Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Wilf Day

International Women's Day, by the NDP Caucus:

At Question Period, every NDP question was put by a woman (did the media notice?): Nycole Turmel, Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP), Françoise Boivin (Gatineau, NDP), Chris Charlton (Hamilton Mountain, NDP), Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe, NDP), Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe (Pierrefonds-Dollard, NDP), Anne-Marie Day (Charlesbourg-Haute-Saint-Charles, NDP), Ruth Ellen Brosseau (Berthier-Maskinongé, NDP), Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP), Christine Moore (Abitibi-Témiscamingue, NDP), Marie-Claude Morin (Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot, NDP), Charmaine Borg (Terrebonne-Blainville, NDP), Megan Leslie (Halifax, NDP), Laurin Liu (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, NDP), Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina, NDP), Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Beauharnois-Salaberry, NDP), Jean Crowder (Nanaimo-Cowichan, NDP), Hélène Laverdière (Laurier-Sainte-Marie, NDP), Sadia Groguhé (Saint-Lambert, NDP), and Élaine Michaud (Portneuf-Jacques-Cartier, NDP).

Françoise Boivin (Gatineau, NDP)moved Bill C-406, the Status of Women Canada Act, to make it a stand-alone department so that it can fulfill its mandate.

Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe, NDP)moved Bill C-407, An Act to amend the Financial Administration Act (gender balanced representation), to require that federally regulated boards be made up of at least 40% women.

Five statements were made:

Rathika Sitsabaiesan (Scarborough-Rouge River, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, today I am happy to stand with my colleagues as we join people and nations around the globe to celebrate International Women's Day.

As young women, we have made many gains from our mothers and grandmothers. However, our work is not done and things are not getting any easier for women in Canada.

Since 2006, women in Canada have been the victims of a systemic attack. We have seen the slashing of funding for women's groups, the cancellation of funding for women's advocacy groups, the closure of 16 Status of Women Canada offices, the abolishment of the court challenges program, the elimination of pay equity, the scrapping of the long gun registry, a constant attack on unions and collective bargaining rights, and no child care funding initiatives. What is next is an attack on pensions and OAS, public service job cuts, cuts to services for Canadians, and the building of more prisons. Canadian women deserve better.

New Democrats are proud of the number of women and young women in our caucus who will continue to fight to protect the rights of women and work toward a Canada with gender equality.

Mylène Freeman (Argenteuil-Papineau-Mirabel, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, today being International Women's Day, I wish to recognize the important contribution made by the women of Quebec on the long, hard road towards gender equality in Canada.

In Quebec, if there is one name that is synonymous with that struggle, it is of course Thérèse Casgrain. This great woman was at the heart of every battle and debate in what was at the time a rapidly changing society. She fought for many causes that redefined society.

Her efforts later brought her into the political realm, with the NDP, among other parties, and she was appointed to the Senate in 1970.

Most importantly, however, Thérèse Casgrain left all women a legacy to carry on and one over-riding duty: to continue to work towards true gender equality.

That is why I am pleased to pursue the same goals as the organization founded by Ms. Casgrain, the Fédération des femmes du Québec, which advocates for the right to abortion, pay equity and women's safety, to name a few. Together, we can continue her fight. Let's get the job done.

Djaouida Sellah (Saint-Bruno-Saint-Hubert, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, despite a record number of women elected to the current Parliament, Canada still ranks poorly internationally when it comes to the representation of women in politics. I would like to point out that Canada ranks behind Afghanistan.

The UN estimates that a critical mass of 30% women is needed in order for them to have an impact on public policy. However, in Canada, we have not yet passed the 25% mark.

There are only so many ways to improve the situation. The political parties have to take measures to encourage the election of women.

The NDP has tools in place, and the results speak for themselves, with 40% of our caucus being women.

Linda Duncan (Edmonton-Strathcona, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, despite mounting cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women and children, the government still ignores calls for a national inquiry by the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, the Native Women's Association of Canada, Sisters in Spirit, Amnesty International and the women's families. The Liard Aboriginal Women's Society is pleading with the government to restore funds for its programs addressing the high rates of violence and drug and alcohol abuse, attributed in particular to the impact of residential schools.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports paying out double the anticipated compensation claims for abuse suffered at the residential schools. They call the schools an assault on aboriginal children, their families and their culture, and on self-government and sustainability. They said we should restore funding to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation in this budget.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women have decried Canada's inaction on the poverty and violence suffered by aboriginal women.

Again, I implore the government to open Canada's doors to the UN investigators.

Nycole Turmel (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, International Women's Day is a remarkable time when the world stops to remember and celebrate.

I have spent my life defending women's right to pay equity, maternity leave and work-life balance. That is why I am so proud to be leading a party that fights every day for gender equality. I am proud that the NDP caucus has the largest proportion of women in Canadian history. Together, the New Democrats fight for justice, fairness, equal opportunity and the freedom to live without fear. There is still work to be done.

One by one, the Conservatives are erasing the victories won by women.

Canada has fallen to 20th position on the UN gender inequality index, but there is hope. We have come far; we must go further. New Democrats will continue to fight for women's rights. Together we can get it done.

While debating the NDP motion that Elections Canada investigation capabilities be strengthened, Annick Papillon (Québec, NDP) said:

Today, March 8, is International Women's Day, and I think it is important to note that this right was granted to Canadian women in 1918. The acquisition of this right was one of many pivotal moments in the history of Canadian democracy. Unfortunately, events of the past few days are anything but reassuring. The latest information from across the country suggests that some of our fellow citizens were tricked and thus deprived of their right to vote. These allegations are alarming.


Beautiful! Thank you Wilf, and congratulations to the women of the NDP caucus!


Wilf Day

Unionist wrote:

Beautiful! Thank you Wilf, and congratulations to the women of the NDP caucus!

Did any Quebec media notice?

I didn't see any media notice myself except a two-second reference on CBC. Our English Canadian media keep parroting "the NDP's unknown Quebec MPs" while failing to take any notice of them even when they put on such a beautiful show as they did on Thursday. What the heck do they have to do?

Wilf Day

Taking the above as a "Who's Who" of the NDP's female MPs, let's see who they support for Leader. It's a wide range. No consensus, no strong front-runner.


Tom Mulcair:

Anne-Marie Day (Charlesbourg-Haute-Saint-Charles, NDP),

Marie-Claude Morin (Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot, NDP),

Sadia Groguhé (Saint-Lambert, NDP),

Djaouida Sellah (Saint-Bruno-Saint-Hubert, NDP),

Annick Papillon (Québec, NDP),

Ruth Ellen Brosseau (Berthier-Maskinongé, NDP).


Undecided or neutral:

Megan Leslie (Halifax, NDP),

Rathika Sitsabaiesan (Scarborough-Rouge River, NDP)

Mylène Freeman (Argenteuil-Papineau-Mirabel, NDP),

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe (Pierrefonds-Dollard, NDP),

Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina, NDP),

Nycole Turmel (Hull-Aylmer, NDP).


Brian Topp:

Françoise Boivin (Gatineau, NDP),

Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP),

Chris Charlton (Hamilton Mountain, NDP),

Jean Crowder (Nanaimo-Cowichan, NDP),

Charmaine Borg (Terrebonne-Blainville, NDP).


Peggy Nash:

Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Beauharnois-Salaberry, NDP),

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP),

Élaine Michaud (Portneuf-Jacques-Cartier, NDP),

Laurin Liu (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, NDP).


Paul Dewar:

Linda Duncan (Edmonton-Strathcona, NDP),

Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe, NDP),

Hélène Laverdière (Laurier-Sainte-Marie, NDP),

Christine Moore (Abitibi-Témiscamingue, NDP).



Wilf Day wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Beautiful! Thank you Wilf, and congratulations to the women of the NDP caucus!

Did any Quebec media notice?

Heh... yeah... [url= L'Écho de Maskinongé[/url]!... in an article belatedly noting Ruth-Ellen Brosseau's support for Mulcair:

D’autre part, Mme Brosseau, membre du Comité permanent de la condition féminine, a ajouté sa voix aux autres femmes du NPD qui ont muselé symboliquement les hommes à l’occasion de la Journée internationale des femmes, en session parlementaire, hier, étant les seules à prendre la parole.

That's all I've seen. But it's better than nothing. Barely.


Maysie Maysie's picture
Wilf Day

"Of course International Women's Day marks the day in 1911, March 25 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, a terrible tragedy here in North America that killed 146 young women . . ."

If Wikipedia is accurate (never a certainty), the first International Women's Day was held March 18, 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, implementing a decision made the prevous August by a Women's Conference held in conjunction with the Socialist International. Americans held it the last Sunday in February. Both were before the terrible New York City fire that caused the deaths of 146 garment workers and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.

Pardon the quibble, but I wonder if some Canadian women might prefer to remember 1911 the way it happened around the world, rather than in New York City or "here in North America." (I don't live in North America, sorry.)

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