U of T Mississauga marks International Women's Day

Friday, March 12, 2010 - 4:46pm

Women came together March 8 at U of T Mississauga in celebration of International Women's Day (IWD), honouring the accomplishments of their past and making plans for future achievements.

Mississauga's Interim Place, a local not-for-profit organization, and U of T Mississauga's study of women and gender program organized the event for the annual celebration of IWD and used it as a fundraiser to help support Interim Place shelters and community outreach programs for abused women and children. Proceeds came from ticket sales and a silent auction that took place during the event's 6:00 p.m. reception.

The event featured guest speaker Maude Barlow, the national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, and a fascinating performance by the Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers (RAW).
Audience members were mesmerized as the drummmers, a group of East and South-East Asian women, integrated Taiko drumming and choreographed movements in a poetic harmony to express messages of social justice.

Following their performance, Barlow discussed the global water crisis and how it negatively affects women around the world.

During the question and answer period after Barlow's presentation, several women voiced their surprise of their own unawareness of such a dire issue.

I think she made the connection very strongly that women and climate change is a natural subject to consider and talk about and it's often overlooked, said Joan Simalchik, co-ordinator of the study of women and gender program. So, International Women's Day is an opportunity to bring forward things that are overlooked.

Every year U of T Mississauga's study of women and gender program makes new plans to celebrate IWD. Simalchik said that many events celebrating IWD take place globally, but not many people are aware of them.

There are so many celebrations and commemorations happening around the world and it's very inspiring but you don't really hear about it unless you see it on YouTube or Google search it, said Simalchik. So, it's really important to make those connections and to feel that our small celebrations are a link to a larger project internationally.

Simalchik says that the she and her students are already brainstorming ideas for next year's IWD and hope that next year's event will be even more successful than this year's.