Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ottawa: International Womyn's Day Celebrations

I missed posting about this on International Womyn's Day as I have been sick and the internet was down temporarily. However, saturday March 8th was International Womyn's Day which has been celebrated since the early 1900s with wide ranging events such as womyn's rights protests, workshops, international conferences, and other events. International Women's Day is actually an official holiday in multiple countries (mostly the former USSR countries) as the March 8th date comes from the beginning of the Russian womyn's "bread and peace" campaign in 1917 though, the day was also linked internationally to a protest in 1857 where womyn in New York walked out of factories in protest despite police repression.

In Ottawa this year most events such as the march for womyn's rights, the workshops at the Bronson Center, and others were canceled or postponed. This was due to one of the largest blizzards in many years (except for one earlier this winter). The art events showcasing the art of womyn of colour at the Agora, and the break dancing/trip-hop/electro event Ladies in the House still occurred at Babylon with large success despite the storm. The canceled workshops will probably be simply postponed until mid-April.

Womyn are far from equal in Canada with a discrepancy of 72.5 Cents on the dollar (which is actually an improvement however), a government body for womyn which no longer has equality in its mandate, only 21% of parliament being womyn and, much higher levels of violence and abuse.

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