March 8, 2020
Ciera DeSilva, Education Program Manager
Today, on International Women’s Day, we recognize the role of women locally and globally who have fought for gender equity, for protecting the land and water, and for advocating for a life of opportunity for their children and grandchildren.
We celebrate efforts of women to secure the right to vote, to work outside the home, to follow their passions in studies and careers alongside men. We acknowledge women as caretakers who work tirelessly and who are often underpaid or unpaid for their skills and sacrifices. We honour women who opt for dialogue and peace over violence and war. We celebrate the election of more women in political roles who lead with respect and equity for all humans and the natural world in mind, and who advocate for publicly funded childcare programs. We thank women scientists, activists and artists who continue to passionately share their convictions. We thank Indigenous women for protecting their territories and upholding the autonomy and sovereignty of their Nations.
In all this work, we also acknowledge the immense contributions of LGBTQIA2S+ people. We must work to ensure they do not face discrimination and have the same opportunities as those who are cisgender.
We recognize that locally and globally, many women still do not experience equal rights or opportunities with men, nor with more privileged women. We remember that within Canada, Indigenous peoples were still not allowed to vote when women were granted this right, and that conditions were attached when Indigenous peoples were finally allowed to vote.
We pay tribute to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirited people who have been taken from us, and those who honour their lives and work to ensure the end of violence against bodies and the earth. As Indigenous youth have reminded us many times these past few months, much of this violence is inextricably linked with resource extraction.
This International Women’s Day, let’s think of the brave people who came before us to push for these rights, and to reflect on how we can collectively build a society in which all peoples’ rights are respected and upheld.
Featured image by Mya Van Woudenberg/Sierra Club BC