Women from around the world, such as this woman from Indonesia, have been posting their #IWD2019 messages on social media with their “hands out” balance pose for a strong call-to-action for others to also help forge a #BalanceforBetter. (IWD photo)

Women call for gender parity on International Women’s Day

SAFE Society to host event to celebrate women on Friday, March 8

“A balanced world is a better world. How can you help forge a more gender-balanced world? Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”

These words from the International Women’s Day website expand on its theme, #BalanceforBetter.

The SAFE Society is once again contributing to that theme by hosting an International Women’s Day Coffeehouse & Celebration on Friday, March 8, 5 to 7 p.m. at the Shuswap Pie Company.

Musical entertainment will be provided by Making Do, and guest speaker will be Cindy Derkaz.

It’s free, and both men and women are welcome.

Read more: Photos – Women’s marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

SAFE Society spokesperson, Paige Hilland, says the Balance for Better theme is about gender parity.

“It’s actually a women’s and men’s issue. Men becoming more involved in advancing women’s parity is essential if we want to accelerate women’s parity.”

She points out that rising women is not about the fall of men.

“Men don’t have to fall for women to rise; it’s about balancing the equation.”

She says the SAFE Society shows its support for International Women’s Day because women are predominantly the victims of domestic violence, “so that’s why it’s important for us to talk about how far we still need to come.”

Read more: Women strike on International Women’s Day

With the #MeToo, Time’s Up and Black Lives Matter movements, there’s been a push to listen to women’s stories, she adds.

“We want to involve the whole community… It’s not just the SAFE Society that will end violence against women. We need the greater community to be involved, to listen to their friends, to advocate and to believe women when they speak about their experiences,” Hilland says.

Read more: Celebrating women

She emphasizes that the day is also about celebrating women, about acknowledging those who have done the difficult work in the past.

“The anti-violence movement came out of a very grassroots movement, from women who saw something they wanted to change and did something about it.”

The website points out that International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and has occurred for well over a century, with the first gathering in 1911 supported by more than a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.


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