By Equity Representative Pam Diggs:

International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8 worldwide. This day is focused on empowering, educating and fostering support for women and children. The wider agenda of IWD encompasses a variety of different topics women are facing, one of them; is women abuse. Finding ways to protect, support and help them break that cycle, is first and foremost.
Women need support in many ways. Through various organizations there is hope of helping them gain the tools needed to navigate and achieve personal and professional strength. International Women’s Day is not simply just a celebration of women, It has become a movement steeped in a long history of women’s advocacy and the fight for equal rights but, also a call to action for everyone to continue to push for complete gender equality and to break the cycle of systemic discrimination women face every day.
Friday our local participated in the online International Women’s Day event through Zoom. This was the second year the event was held in this style because of the Covid restrictions. This year’s guest speaker was Cherry Smiley, a feminist from the Nlaka’pamux and Diné Nations. A former front-line anti-violence worker who works to end prostitution and all forms of male violence against women and girls. She is the founder of Women’s Studies Online and co-founder of Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry.  Cherry spoke about the colonialism ideology that has weaved in throughout history, it’s affects on all women and the compounded challenges Indigenous women face because of it.
Violence against women and children is still on the rise and many factors including the pandemic have contributed to this. So ending gender based violence must be a priority for everyone.
LWAC’s IWD event had a fundraising target was $50,000.
And this year, as in every year their goal was met enthusiastically by all those in attendance and was surpassed, raising $60,285.00! All of this will go to frontline support of women. Since all of the government cutbacks to social services over the years, oftentimes initiatives like this is a successful way to raising funds and get nonprofit organizations such as London’s Abused Women’s Center the resources needed to be able to help as many women and children in crisis as possible.
In closing I’d like to thank everyone who signed up and attended this year’s International Women’s Day Event.