Upasana Saha and Dr. Erin Bearss at the UHN vaccination clinic at the St. George campus, University of Toronto

Celebrating International Women's Day

Monday, March 8, 2021 - 10:45am
Alexandra Gillespie

To the UTM Community, 

Today marks International Women’s Day. Officially recognized by the United Nations since 1977, International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the tremendous achievements of women and girls; to champion advancements in gender parity; and to amplify a global call to action. In the face of ongoing gender inequality, in Canada and around the world, the Day also aims to catalyze the changes necessary for a better, more just future.

For 2021, the United Nations has organized activity around a timely theme: Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World. The theme acknowledges a double truth. Women have played an extraordinary role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic: as healthcare workers, teachers, scientists, caregivers, innovators, community organizers, social and political leaders. But women have also shouldered a disproportionate degree of the pandemic’s burdens, with the pandemic exacerbating existing inequalities, especially for Black, Indigenous, racialized and trans women.

To confront that truth, on 8 and 9 March, the Canadian federal government has organized a Feminist Response and Recovery Summit, with panel presentations from diverse experts, including Prof. Sarah Kaplan from the University of Toronto’s Institute for Gender + the Economy. Women, as the Summit recognizes, continue to lead on the front-lines of pandemic response; women deserve a central role in the benefits of post-pandemic recovery, too.

At U of T, likewise, we remain committed to eliminating barriers for women; to centering gender equity in policy and practice; and to understanding the nuances of women’s different experiences. We can help end systemic gender inequality by providing a comprehensive education that properly celebrates women’s contributions; by amplifying women’s diverse voices in the classroom and workplace; and by leading initiatives against gender-based discrimination and violence. To learn about initiatives in progress, please visit the virtual offices listed below, all of which also offer services for support.

Thank you.