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International Women’s Day: from great revolts to pussy hats

IWD 2017 Kingston Poster
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International Women's Day has become recognized everywhere as a global day of recognition and celebration of women and it’s easy to forget that its origins are rooted in radical resistance.

The earliest Women’s Day observance was organized by the Socialist Party of America on February 28, 1909 in New York in remembrance of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU). The ILGWU led two successful large strikes made up of largely women and immigrant. The “the Uprising of 200,000” saw 20,000 out of 32,000 workers in the shirtwaist trade walking off the job and expressing anger about their exploitative employers with slogans such as “We’d rather starve quick then starve slow.” In February of 1910 the ILGWU accepted an arbitrated settlement that improved workers’ wages, working conditions and hours but fell short of providing union recognition. Several months later in 1910 the ILGWU led a strike of 60, 000 cloak-makers in what came to be known as “the Great Revolt.”

On November 9 2016, a century after the ILGWU strike, in reaction to the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, Teresa Shook of Hawaii created a Facebook event and invited friends to march on Washington in protest. Similarly Evvie Harmon, Fontaine Pearson, Breanne Butler, and others also created a Facebook page that led to thousands of women signing up to march. Eventually Harmon, Pearson and Butler united their efforts forming the origins of the Women’s March on Washington. From a couple of Facebook pages the Women’s March movement evolved into the largest single day demonstration in United States history. In total, 673 marches take place worldwide on January 21, 2017, the day following Trump's Inauguration. Many marched wearing what has become known as “pussy hats” a pink knitted hat with cat hears to bring attention to the President’s history of misogyny and sexual assault. Ultimately this movement marked one of the first real acts of resistance against an administration whose destructive policies threaten the gains that have been made by generations of social justice activists. To learn more, read our Statement on the Women’s March on Washington https://opseu.org/news/more-just-protest-womens-march-washington

From “Great Revolts” to “pussy hats,” both of these pieces of herstory are examples of how women’s activism have challenged authority and changed the world. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to take stock of our progress towards gender equality and recognize the contributions that women have made and continue to make. More than that however it’s a day to be inspired, be active and be a part of the long line of women who have made real radical change.

It is with this in mind that the OPSEU Provincial Women’s Committee launches its new Resource Page and invites nominations for an Unsung Woman Activist.

The PWC also invites you to participate in the International Women’s Day event happening in your region.

IWD in Kingston

IWD 2017 Kingston Poster

She Creates One of a Kind Show

Date: Saturday March 4
Time:  9:30 a.m.
Location: 100 Portsmouth Ave., Kingston

Art Show

Date: Saturday March 4
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: McLaughlin Hall, Queen’s University

Feminist Utopias

Date: Sunday, March 5
Time: 2-4 p.m.
Location: AKA Autonomous Social Centre, 75 Queen Street, Kingston

Join women in imagining and drawing our Feminist Utopias! Drawing and crafting materials will be available. Drawing/crafting is optional. This is intended to be an informal event.

International Women’s Day 2017: A Celebration of Women

Date: Tuesday, March 7
Time: 4-7 p.m.
Location: Macintosh-Corry Hall, 68 University Ave, Kingston

On March 7th, join women for an early celebration of International Women's Day, where we gather to honor, explore, and rejoice in the work and effort of women all over the world. This lounge-transformed-sanctuary will serve as a welcoming space for everyone, of all creeds, cultures, and genders, to express themselves and share stories with others about how International Women's Day speaks to them.

Know your rights at work! Workshop with the Kingston Fight for $15 and Fairness Campaign

Date: Tuesday, March 7
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Location: AKA Autonomous Social Centre, 75 Queen Street, Kingston

Topics covered can include: hiring and firing, wage theft, harassment and violence, overtime, vacation pay, and severance and health and safety. Light refreshments will be provided and childcare is available upon request at KingstonFightfor15@gmail.com

Be Bold for Change

Date: Wednesday, March 8
Time: 10 a.m-12 p.m.
Location: 400 Elliott Avenue, Kingston

Sculpture unveiling and commemoration by artist Linda Williams at 10:30 a.m. Be Bold For Change: Stories of Motivation and Action panel discussion at 11 a.m.

IWD Events in London

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An Evening of Friendship, Music and Dance

Date: Saturday March 4
Time: 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
Location: South London Community Center, 1119 Jalna Blvd.

More than thirteen countries will be represented in the dance performances. Please bring finger food and cutlery to share. This is a women and girls only event.

IWD Drag Show and Dance

Date: Saturday, March 4
Time: 8:30 p.m-2 a.m.
Location: Polish Hall, 80 Ann Street

Tickets are $10 at the Village Idiot at Askin Street and Wortley,  and all are welcome.

Women Who Inspire

Date: Monday March 6
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Location: South London Community Center, 1119 Jalna Blvd.

Tampon Tuesday

Date: Tuesday, March 7
Time: 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
Location: Jack Astor’s Bar and Grill, 88 Fanshawe Park Road East

Donation of feminine hygiene products for the London Food Bank is welcome.

CES Environcon with keynote speaker is Maude Barlow

Date: Wednesday, March 8
Time: 8 a.m-6 p.m.
Location: International and Graduate Affairs Building, Chu Center and Atrium, Western University

Community Rally and March

Date: Wednesday, March 8
Time: 12 p.m.-2 p.m.
Location: Victoria Park

#BeBoldForChange Rally

Date: Wednesday, March 8
Time: 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Location: Kingsmill Room, Huron University College

Bread and Roses IWD Celebration

Date:Wednesday, March 8
Time:7 p.m.
Location:The Bus Stop, 870 Dundas Street

Musical performances by Emma and Marta Croll-Boehre, Auty Lynn, Corinne Marshall, Westminster Park and Black Savanna. Free will donation—proceeds to My Sister’s Place and Chippewa of the Thames.

IWD Breakfast and Auction

Date: Friday, March 10
Time: 6:30 a.m.
Location: London Convention Center, 300 York Street, London

Tickets are $50.

IWD Newmarket

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Celebrating the Diversity of Women

Date: Tuesday, March 7
Time: Doors open at 6 p.m.
Location: The Newmarket Theatre, 505 Pickering Crescent

Hosted by the current and former chairs of the Women’s Centre of York Region. Keynote speaker: Paola Gianturco, International Photojournalist and Author. Featuring York Region singers, dancers, silent auction and raffle.

IWD in Oshawa

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Be Bold for Change

Date: Wednesday, March 8
Time: 6 p.m.- 8p.m.
Location: YWCA Gymnasium, 33 McGrigor Street, Oshawa

Join the International Women's Day event raising awareness for women's issues in Durham Region and celebrating the boldness of women for change internationally! On offer is: Zumba, Reiki, Meditation, Food, Entertainment, and Guest Speakers. Come one and all and Be Bold for Change!

IWD in Peterborough

International Women’s Day Fair

Date: Saturday, March 4
Time: 10:30 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Location: Mark Street United Church, 90 Hunter Street

Local handmade goods and a variety of women entrepreneurs.

Tampon Tuesday

Date: Tuesday, March 7
Time: 5 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.
Location: The Junction, 257 George Street North, Peterborough

Everyone is encouraged to bring menstrual hygiene products for the Crossroads at YWCA, Cameron House, Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre and Kawartha World Issues Centre.

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International Women’s Day: Spaces of Power

Date: Wednesday, March 8
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Seeds of Change, 534 George Street North, Peterborough

This year’s local International Women’s Day event will explore the ways in which women define power, women resist power and women grow their resilience in spaces of power. Special guests include Councilor Diane Therrien, Tasha Beads, the Raging Grannies, and an incredible panel of women to speak on their experiences of power and resilience:

  • Chief Phyllis Williams: Curve Lake First Nation
  • Jean Augustine : Social Justice Advocate, and Politician
  • Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard: Educator, Advocate for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and Director of the First People’s House of Learni ng at Trent University
  • Dr. Vanita Lokanathan: Family Doctor and LGBTQ* Advocate
  • Yumna Leghari, Co-Editor, Arthur Newspaper

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Rosie’s Review

Date: Wednesday, March 8
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Catalina’s, 131 Hunter Street West, Peterborough

Live Music and poetry with MC Stamp and Missy Knott, Hilary Dumoulin, Kerry Jayne, Britt Hall and other special guests. Tickets are $10 PWYC. Download the event poster.

IWD Richmond Hill        

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Celebrate International Women’s Day in honour of the Women’s Centre of York Centre.

Date: Wednesday March 8
Time: 7 p.m. Reception; 8 p.m. Performance
Location: Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, 10268 Yonge Street

With Comedian and Actress Robin Duke and Singer and Songwriter, Alysha Brilla.

IWD Thunder Bay

Royal High Tea for Women and Children

Date: Sunday March 5
Time: 1st sitting: 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.; 2nd sitting: 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: 234 Van Norman Street

RSVP at 705-684-1955. Hosted by Cenr’elles.

International Women’s Day Flag-raising

Date: Monday March 6
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Location: City Hall, 500 Donald Street East

Hosted by Northwestern Ontario Women’s Center.

Sign-making and Potluck

Date: Tuesday March 7
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: 234 Van Norman Street

RSVP at 705-684-1955. Bring your own materials.

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Solidarity March

Date: Wednesday, March 8
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Starts and ends at Waverly Park (between Algoma Street, Red River Road and Waverly Street)

Be Bold to Change: Trivia Night

Date: Wednesday, March 8
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Slovak Legion Branch #129, 801 Atlantic Avenue

The cost is: $160 per team of four players. Hosted by Faye Peterson House

Warm Meal for Marchers

Date: Wednesday, March 8
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: 349 Waverly Street, St. Paul’s United Church

Co-sponsored by Thunder Bay and District Labour Council, UNIFOR and Northwestern Ontario Women’s Center

IWD Social

Date: Wednesday, March 8
Time: 7 p.m.-10 p.m.
Location: The Outposte Campus Pub, Lakehead University

Co-sponsored by Lakehead University Student Union’s Gender Issues Center, Aboriginal Awareness Center, and Multicultural Center. Feel free to share and tweet at #womenresistwomenpersist or #tbay

Toronto IWD Events

Public Services = Women's Services

International Women's Day Banner & Sign Making Social 

Date: March 7
Time:  5:30 pm 
Location: OPSEU Membership Centre, 31 Wellesley St E 

Be a part of the OPSEU Region 5 statement for International Women's Day Public Services = Women's Services. Join the OPSEU Region 5 Provincial Women's Committee & We Own It campaign organizers for banner & sign making, swag, snacks & fun.   Download the Event Poster public_services_are_womens_services_.pdf

Mary Spratt Breakfast

Date: March 7
Time: 9 a.m.-10:30 am
Location: United Steelworker's Hall, 25 Cecil St

The OPSEU Region 5 Women's Committee will cover the cost ten (10) OPSEU women to attend. To secure a spot please email opseupwcr5@gmail. 

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Stop the Hate! Unite the Fight! Build the Resistance! 

Join the OPSEU Region 5 Women's Committee Saturday March 11, 2017 for Stop the Hate! Unite the Fight! Build the Resistance!  2017 International Women's Day Rally, March & Women's Fair a celebration of sisterhood, solidarity & social justice.  Download the Event Poster iwd_2017.pdf

Rally

Date: Saturday, March 11
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Medical Sciences Building Auditorium, 1 Kings College Circle 

March

Date: Saturday, March 11
Time: 1:00 to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Medical Sciences Building Auditorium, 1 Kings College Circle 

Ryerson Women's Fair

Date: Saturday, March 11
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Ryerson University Student Learning Centre, 341 Yonge St