By Antoinette Mercurio (Reposted with permission; some links added by the Institutional Diversity Blog)
International Women’s Day reminds people about the positive strides women have made since the early 1900s.
Equality for women is progress for all.
That’s the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), an annual global celebration of women and their achievements on March 8. IWD has been observed since the early 1990s, gaining more prominence across the world. For information on local events (in Toronto), please visit http://ow.ly/udZN9. The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is hosting a day-long event on March 7 which includes a panel discussion on Women in Politics, Leadership and Governance. Students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the event from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in POD250.
"International Women's Day is an excellent opportunity for our Ryerson community to celebrate and acknowledge the important work that women do both locally and globally," said Denise O’Neil Green, assistant vice president/vice provost equity, diversity and inclusion. “While we have made progress, there is still much more room for improvement when it comes to gender equity. I hope our theme of Women in Politics, Leadership and Governance initiates ongoing discussions and broadens how we think about women and their roles in these various spheres of society."
Community members have had the privilege recently of hearing from a series of female leaders. Earlier this week, strong black Canadian women were honoured at the Viola Desmond Awards. The annual ceremony teaches the public about Canada’s black history while commemorating the courage of Desmond. Member of Parliament and former city councillor Olivia Chow participated in a panel in early February to discuss her new memoir, My Journey. As an immigrant woman in politics, Chow said that “power is not given to you, it has to be taken.” Journalism ’06 alumna Robyn Doolittle made a visit to Ryerson post-book tour for Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story and she touched on the topic of being a female reporter, calling it a “double-edged sword.”
In support of IWD, Vice-President, Research & Innovation Wendy Cukier, founder and director of the Diversity Institute, spoke on a Women of Influence panel on March 6 about what business leaders can learn from public sector leaders and vice versa.
At the Women in Politics event, Traditional Counsellor and Elder Joanne Dallaire will conduct a traditional opening and closing. Panellists are Winnie Ng, CAW-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy; Cathy Crowe, distinguished visiting practitioner; Jan Longboat, an Elder involved in traditional medicines from Six Nations; and Melissa Palermo, Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) president.
A human library event takes place at 1:30 p.m. to give attendees the opportunity to meet one-on-one with female leaders on campus.
Cheri L. Bradish, Loretta Rogers Research Chair in Sport Marketing, has been working with the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) to host the day-long Women in Leadership Workshop and Luncheon at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on March 7. The Honourable Bal Gosal Minister of State (Sport) will be present and a panel presentation emceed by Therese Brisson, Olympian and former member of the Canadian women's hockey team, with Bradish, Nathalie Cook, vice-president, integrated marketing and partnerships at TSN, and Nicole Forrester, Olympic Canadian high jumper.
RSU is also planning an IWD celebration with spoken word, poetry and art. The fourth annual Celebrating Women’s Voices takes place on March 7 at 6 p.m. in LIB72, with spoken word artists and poets Sonia Sanchez and Warsan Shire. Celebrating Women's Voices has become a staple at Ryerson, as well as the community at-large, and is meant to carve out a space for women-identified folks to share their stories through art and culture. To register, please visit www.eventbrite.ca/e/4th-annual-celebrating-womens-voices-tickets-9556572967.