Full house in Salmon Arm celebrates International Women’s Day

People packed the Shuswap Pie Company Friday evening where they heard stories of injustice, stories of hope and success, along with encouragement for change.

The SAFE Society once again marked International Women’s Day with an event well-attended by both men and women, featuring refreshments and music interspersed with speakers.

During her welcome, Paige Hilland spoke about the theme, Balance for Better, and how men’s involvement in advancing parity for women is essential for change.

Read more: Women strike on International Women’s Day

Colleen Making talked about the heartbreaking stories she continues to hear about how society treats women and thinks of women, and how advertising portrays women.

“I think it takes all of us in the community to change that.”

She pointed out that girls and young women are encouraged to be safe, not to park their cars in dark areas, to always be sure they’re aware of their surroundings.

To applause, she asked why it is that we teach girls not to be a victim, instead of teaching boys, don’t rape.

Read more: Secwépemc youth singers read for the stage during International Women’s Day

Cindy Derkaz spoke about her early years as a lawyer in Salmon Arm, when she was not permitted to attend social gatherings of lawyers or join organizations her male colleagues were, nor was she taken seriously by male clients.

She said one of the most blatant experiences was when a one-month exchange to France was circulated by the Rotary Club so, realizing she qualified, she wrote a letter of application. The application was returned to her, unopened, with a handwritten note attached stating it was only for men. When the French contingent arrived in the Shuswap, it contained both men and women.

Read more: International Women’s Day celebrated around the world

Derkaz said she relates these situations to explain they have made her a stronger feminist and a stronger advocate for social justice. One of the ways she did that was to make a decision when she was practising law that if a woman in Salmon Arm needed her legal help but couldn’t afford her bill, she would help anyway. She also decided she would always support women’s organizations and she would encourage young women to achieve their goals. She said she would always be supportive of her female friends, to listen, to be non-judgmental and to be kind.

Derkaz also encouraged her audience to call out bullying whenever they witness it.

“And most importantly,” she said, “whenever we have a choice, we can make the choice that’s going to empower women. Maybe it will put ourselves out, maybe we won’t look quite as good, but why don’t we help women get ahead.”

Music throughout the evening was provided by Making Do, and several people in attendance took time out to have their photos taken with signs about empowering women which were then posted on the SAFE Society’s Facebook page.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Truck rollover west of Sicamous disrupts traffic for hours

The evening rollover on May 25 temporarily halted highway traffic near the Bernie Road intersection.

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Thunderstorm possible for South Okanagan

The rest of the region will enjoy a sunny day.

Photos: Over 80 competitors took part in 3D Archery Shoot

The event is hosted by the Salmon Arm Fish and Game Club

Girl, 9, out of ICU after carbon monoxide poisoning in Shuswap tent

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Severe thunderstorm watch

Environment Canada forecasts thunder, cloud and rain for one more day

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Okanagan group offers suggestions on overdose prevention site

Downtown Vernon Association agrees proposed facility should be near Vernon Jubilee Hospital

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Brothers acquired land at entrance to Garnet Valley

Name of Summerland valley and lake does not match spelling of family name.

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Most Read