We’ve seen a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality, since the first International Women’s Day was celebrated March 8, 1908. Many may feel that all the battles have been won for women. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women's visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality.
The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.
Certainly great improvements have been made. We have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, and in some countries women have real choices. All over the world women are inspired, and their achievements are celebrated.
That said, we cannot talk about International Women’s Day without looking at the “ME TOO” movement – a watershed moment in the advancement of gender equality. This movement has given a powerful platform to women, and has demonstrated the extent of sexual assault and harassment across society. More women are coming forward and conversations are being held showing how much change is still needed. The movement continues to unfold – stay tuned.
The Congress of Black Women Ontario remains steadfast in our mission to unite and empower Black women to stand up for our human rights as women and as a race. We encourage you to embrace the full meaning of International Women’s Day assess your situation, assess our collective situation. Take action to make a difference for our community and the wider Canadian society.
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