International Women’s Day 2017

March 9th, 2017

Photo by Riley Petillion / The Phoenix News

Photo by Riley Petillion / The Phoenix News

“It’s a day where women can celebrate each other and recognition can be given,” explains Tamara Raine, co-coordinator of the Women’s Resource Center and organizer of International Women’s Day, “this day gives a moment to remember all of the important women in the world fighting for equality.”

On Wednesday 8 of March, the WRC hosted three events on campus which brought students and members of the community together to honor women and celebrate feminism.

To kick off the day the WRC partnered with the UBCSUO and the Equity and Inclusion Office to host a free breakfast in the Aboriginal Center. Professors Ruthan Lee, Margo Tamez and Jeanette Armstrong shared their perspective on feminism, women’s issues and indigenous culture. Their unique contributions were much appreciated by all in attendance and offered valuable insight.

Following this event was a Tea Talk hosted by Dela Hini which discussed intersectional feminism. The term intersectional was first coined by Kimberle Crenshaw to signify the multiplicity of women’s experiences and how that manifests in diverse struggles with oppression. The term represents a deviation from the “one-size-fits-all feminism” which traditionally favours white women. This Tea Talk provided valuable insight into the complexities of intersectional identities and how they relate to feminism. “Dela facilitated an engaging, eye opening conversation on questioning privilege and how to apply intersectional feminism to daily life,” says Erica Cook, co-coordinator of the WRC and organizer of IWD. 

“Our Tea Talks are a great opportunity for students to learn about different topics relating to feminism,” adds Tamara, “It is important to recognize how feminism might look different to different people.”

The WRC collaborated with SARA, the International Student Club, The Psychology Course Union and the Book Nook to host the final event, “Her Story,” in the Well. This open mic night gave both men and women the opportunity to share their stories, poems, songs and performance pieces. “We wanted to give students a chance to have their voices heard,” says Tamara.

The celebration of International Women’s Day is especially relevant to a university context. “The campus can feel alienating at times, celebrating IWD on campus allows women to come together and feel like they are a part of something,” insists Tamara, “I think it is important we acknowledge the work being done by women on this campus: the activist groups, the professors, the staff, and the students! Each of us working to make the world a better place for women.”

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