Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2019

Posted by strattof on March 7, 2019

Tomorrow, March 8, is International Women’s Day. First observed in 1911, International Women’s Day is an occasion for celebrating women’s social, economic, and political achievements.

Yet it’s 2019, and we still live in a world of gender inequality. Moreover, women frequently experience multiple forms of discrimination: race, class, ability/ disability, sexuality, and religion, as well as gender.

International Women’s Day is, therefore, also a time for reflecting on the action needed for making more progress toward realizing justice in the face of the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination women encounter. There are many challenges ahead.

GENDER INEQUALITY IN CANADA: 6 KEY FACTS

Equality between women and men is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and yet:

  1. Canadian women continue to experience wage discrimination. Those who work full-time earn 74 cents for every dollar earned by men, a figure that has barely budged in the last two decades. This is the case even though women’s educational attainment has now surpassed that of men.
  2. The pay gap for racialized women, trans women, and women with disabilities is even wider. For example, Indigenous women working full-time earn 67 cents for every dollar earned by white men.
  3. At the current rate of progress, Canada will not close the gender wage gap until 2240.
  4. 65% of minimum wage workers in Saskatchewan are women. The minimum wage in Saskatchewan is $11.06 per hour.
  5. Women constitute 50.4% of Canada’s population. They hold only 26% of the seats in the House of Commons.
  6. Canada ranks 16th in the World Economic Forum’s 2018 global gender gap index—well ahead of the US, but behind Iceland, Norway, Finland, Nicaragua, Rwanda, and 10 other countries.

MALE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

  • Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.
  • Saskatchewan has the highest rate of domestic violence of all the provinces.
  • Between 2016 and 2017, Regina saw a 7% increase in the rate of sexual assaults.
  • Women account for over half of all victims of violent crime in Canada, while they make up only about one quarter of all the offenders.
  • In 2018, a woman or girl was killed every 2.5 days in Canada.
  • Indigenous women make up only 4% of the Canadian population, yet they account for 24% of female homicide victims.

MISSING & MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN

“Indigenous women in Canada have historically been devalued not only as Indigenous people but also simply because they are women. It is important to acknowledge the impacts of colonization and recognize that they currently exist and affect Indigenous women and girls.” Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC).

  • 2010: NWAC published its Sisters In Spirit report, documenting 514 missing or murdered Indigenous women and girls and calling for a national public inquiry.
  • 2014: Amnesty International published its report, Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada and called for a national public inquiry.
  • 2014: The RCMP published a report documenting 1,181 missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada between 1980 and 2012.
  • 2015: The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women released a damning report on the situation of missing and murdered Indigenous girls and women in Canada.
  • 2015: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission called for a national public inquiry into the “disproportionate victimization of Aboriginal women and girls.”
  • 2010 – 2015: The Harper government consistently refused demands to hold a public inquiry.
  • 2016: The Trudeau government launched an inquiry.
  • 2016 – 2019: The work of the inquiry was hindered by a narrow mandate, a tight budget, a too short timeline, and inadequate support for families.
  • 2019: The report of the inquiry is due in April.

In the meantime, Indigenous women and girls continue to experience violence, go missing, and be murdered, far more than other women and girls in Canada.

EVENTS FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

SUNDAY MARCH 10, 1 – 3 pm: WOMEN & FEMININE SPACE, MACKENZIE ART GALLERY, 3475 ALBERT STREET: Celebrate connection, inspiration, support, & empowerment. Women only.

SUNDAY MARCH 10, 3:15 – 3:45 pm: CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY ON THE ALBERT STREET BRIDGE: Everyone is welcome. If you have a red scarf, please wear it.

TUESDAY MARCH 12, 7 pm: WE DON’T NEED A VOICE, WE NEED MORE MICROPHONES, A PRE-SENTATION BY CONNIE WALKER, EDUCATION AUDITORIUM, U OF R: Connie Walker is an investigative reporter and host of the CBC podcast, Missing & Murdered. Her work on missing and murdered Indigenous women has won many awards. She is from the Okanese First Nation in Saskatchewan.

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