International Women’s Day spit-fired around social media and was celebrated in a myriad of ways amongst different communities.
I attended the celebration at the Houston Senior Centre on Mar. 7, and it was wonderful to see so many empowering women acknowledged. Not to mention, to have men of Houston included at the event to honour the women in their lives.
JR LaRose, retired professional football player for the B.C. Lions, expressed the significance of this event beautifully. “Though today we come together to celebrate women all over the world, every day is women’s day.”
My sister asked me earlier that day, “how come you’re not wearing a die hard feminist shirt or something?”
I replied that even if I did have a shirt that said that, I am still a woman, a crusader of equality, and that remains so whether my shirt reflects that or shows my love for anime films.
The importance about this day is that it stimulates a conversation that echoes diversely around the world. The conversation inHouston was about violence and abuse.
International Women’s Day brought to the forefront the issue that one in three women in Canada have been physically or sexually violated.
Especially during LaRose’s presentation, “Be More than a Bystander,” this event allowed a discussion about ways in which we can reduce these staggering statistics.
It opened up the dialogue to address that abuse is not exclusive to the corporeal form, that it is experienced emotionally and mentally. And that the portrayal of violence and abuse historically has not noted that men are victims of this issue too.
Data consists only of what has been reported.
The takeaway is that a recognized global event has the power to instill in our minds the seed of change. However, like the guest speakers and women honoured at the event, it takes continual action and a vigorous effort for an idea to flourish. For a man desensitized to physical and sexual abuse as a boy to become a professional national football player. For a woman who has suffered the loss of her son, to be a force of impact in the work and training of the RCMP. For a woman whose time and energy lies in the work she does every day in the community to be felt by the very people that live there.
It begins with an awareness and it continues with action.