March 8 is annually recognized as International Women's Day in Canada, marked by women's groups all over the world celebrating women's efforts to attain justice and equality for themselves and their children. Every year thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements.
This year's theme is 'Building Leadership Together'. Envision Counselling and Support Centre will focus on women in local communities who are recognized as role models for girls and young women.
Staff from Envision plan to visit local seniors' homes and residences to present roses to acknowledge senior women who pioneered as leaders and mentors. As well, Envision will set up displays at the libraries in both Weyburn and Estevan. People can stop by one of the display tables and pick up a card to send to an inspiring woman.
The first International Women's Day occurred on March 19 in 1911. The inaugural event, which included rallies and organized meetings, was a success in countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The date of March 19 was chosen because it commemorated the day that the Prussian king promised to introduce votes for women in 1848. The promise gave hope for equality but it was a promise that he failed to keep. International Women's Day was moved to March 8 in 1913.
Much progress has been made to protect and promote women's rights in recent times. However, according to the UN, nowhere in the world can women claim to have all the same rights and opportunities as men. The majority of the world's 1.3 billion absolute poor are women. On average, women receive between 30 and 40 percent less pay than men earn for the same work. Women also continue to be victims of violence, with rape and domestic violence listed as significant causes of disability and death among women worldwide. In Canada, women still earn $.71 to a man's $1.00 and lead the statistics for being victims of assault.
International Women's Day is a day when women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, and political differences come together to celebrate. They can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. International Women's Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men.
Envision Counselling and Support Centre Inc. provides therapeutic counselling and support, in-home services, groups, workshops, and education that help individuals, families and couples to feel empowered and content. Immediate information and referrals are available through our 24-Hour Abuse/Sexual Assault Support Line at 1-800-214-7083.