100 Years of International Women’s Day
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made… It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg
#BeBoldforChange. Being bold is not new to the many women and men who work at YW Calgary, but bold was the theme from YW’s 4th annual International Women’s Day event, CELEBRATE. Being bold and being outspoken is easy when you know that in Calgary women make 68 per cent less than men in similar roles, when we know that Calgary has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in Canada, when we know that women only make up 26 per cent of leadership positions in the House of Commons and when we know that women disproportionately face threats of violence and harassment online. Despite the many accomplishments and strides women have made in the last 100 years, there continues to be a need for loud and bold voices ready to challenge the norm.
At YW’s CELEBRATE, being bold was also a common theme throughout, with many YW team members showing solidarity for A Day without Woman by wearing the colour red. CELEBRATE saw women and men from across Calgary, Alberta and Canada join YW at The Bow to honour the many inspiring women in our lives, the work that has been done and acknowledge the work ahead.
The formal part of the event demonstrated the fearless leadership YW has at its helm through Rebecca Morley’s, YW board chair, introduction of Her Honour Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell as a bold advocate of change. Her Honour, then took time to talk about the women who have inspired her to be bold in her life. Her Honour spoke about her aunt who never had much money, but would always give as much as she could to support those in need. Her Honour spoke about the importance of giving as much as possible whether it’s time, money or vocal support and its ability to truly affect change. The formal portion of the event ended with YW CEO Sue Tomney challenging the crowd of supporters to be unafraid in using their voices to challenge the status quo.
Today, tomorrow and the day after that, we remain steadfast in our mission to support women thriving in safe and equitable communities where they have choices, are economically secure and free from violence. It is easy to be discouraged when turning on the news, or listening to the radio, or browsing social media and bearing witness to the vitriol and hate that continues to target women. It is easy to be discouraged, but resist and continue to resist. When we stand together, use our voices loudly to advocate for change and challenge the status quo, we can affect change. Every day we choose to lift the most vulnerable populations up, we resist. Every time we click with compassion, we resist. Each time we choose to support an organization with time or money, we resist.
We want to thank our supporters for their time, energy and boldness in attending CELEBRATE. We also want to thank Hillberg & Berk, Blink Restaurant, RnR Wellness, Azuridge Estate Hotel, Highlander Wine and Spirits and for their amazing donation to our raffle prize. We want to thank Neil Zeller Photography for the brilliant photos capturing the evening reception and Downtown Glam (aks Traci Zeller) for the wonderful International Women’s Day YW bracelets. Thank you to the many volunteers who helped the event run smoothly. Finally, thank you to Encana Corporation for donating their beautiful space and their support throughout the evening. We could not have done this without the generous support we received.