We are proud to acknowledge a wonderful International Women’s Day breakfast was held on Thursday, March 8, 2018.  The message and theme internationally was Press for Progress.

In 2018 year we had the honour to hear Kate Wiggins.  Kate is the Executive Director of Anova: A Future without Violence, formerly Women’s Community House and the Sexual Assault Centre of London. Anova is a full service organization providing shelter services, transitional housing, a volunteer and staff helpline, outreach, sexual assault services, public education and training and services for children.

Kate has been a leader in the not for profit sector for over 30 years and sits on many committees, concerned with violence against women at the local, provincial, and national levels.

Kate holds both a BA in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Carleton University, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Western University. Kate also has her Certified Fund Raising Executive designation. Kate is the grandmother of 6 girls who inspire her daily to continue the quest for equality for women.

#PressforProgress

With the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away – there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress. And with global activism for women’s equality fueled by movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp and more – there is a strong global momentum striving for gender parity.

And while we know that gender parity won’t happen overnight, the good news is that across the world women are making positive gains day by day. Plus, there’s indeed a very strong and growing global movement of advocacy, activism and support.

So we can’t be complacent. Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. A strong call to #PressforProgress. A strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

International Women’s Day is not country, group or organization specific. The day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. So together, let’s all be tenacious in accelerating gender parity. Collectively, let’s all Press for Progress!

Collectively WE CAN ALL Play a Part

Collective action and shared responsibility for driving gender parity is what makes International Women’s Day successful. Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

Hope you made International Women’s Day 2018 YOUR day and did what could to truly make a positive difference for women and Pressed for Progress.

 

International Women’s Day History:

International Women’s Day is a day that allows all of us to stop and think about the progress of women’s equality and the barriers and challenges still faced.  At the same time to look forward into the future.

The origins of IWD (International Women’s Day) come from women working in clothing and textile factories in New York City who protested against their working conditions and low wages back on March 8, 1857.  The police attacked the women and dispersed them.  Two years later, the women formed their first labour union to try and protect their rights in the work force.  On March 8, 1908 these women protested again, demanding shorter work hours, better pay, voting rights and an end to child labour.  They adopted the slogan “Bread and Roses” to symbolize economic security (bread) and a better quality of life (roses).  For 100+ years, women and their supporters have rallied for better working conditions, child care, and better pay.

The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark this day in history.

International Women’s Day belongs to all communities everywhere – governments, companies, charities, educational institutions, networks, associations, the media and more. Whether through a global conference, community gathering, classroom lesson or dinner table conversation – everyone can play a purposeful part in pressing for gender parity.