Organized by We Don’t Stop Kingston, International Women’s Week is a locally-driven grassroots extension of International Women’s Day. At the heart of International Women’s Week is a global, century-long tradition of taking time each March to engage with society at large about the importance of women’s social and political equality. We Don’t Stop Kingston has big hopes of raising public awareness about progressive women’s issues while also encouraging an inclusive, learning-positive environment for attendees to join in and contribute to the conversation.
“We really want to recognize the important achievements that have been made for women’s rights and social justice, both past and present,” says Tess Hopkins, an International Women’s Week organizing committee member. “But we also need to address the on-going struggles of systemic inequality that women face here in Canada and around the world. These are issues that will benefit from advocacy, community involvement, and a commitment to public education.”
This year We Don’t Stop Kingston has an impressive eight days of programming dedicated to that mission. She Creates, an artisan fair featuring the diverse creations of over 75 local women vendors, is the official kick-off event for International Women’s Week. It’s taking place tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Portsmouth Olympic Harbor. Proceeds from the show will be split between participating individuals and a special coalition of non-profit organizations that offer frontline support services for women in the Kingston area. This includes Kingston Interval House for Women and Children in Crisis, Sexual Assault Centre of Kingston, Sexual Health Resource Centre, HIV/AIDS Regional Services, the Ban Righ Foundation, and more.
Here’s a taste of what else you can expect for International Women’s Week:
Monday, March 4th
Diverse City: Kingston’s Multicultural Connection: Hear staff from the Kingston Interval House talk about the challenges of dealing with domestic violence against women and some of the unique problems faced by Kingston’s new immigrants on TVCOGECO, 6-7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 5th
Sign Making Party: Stop by for pizza and a fun, collaborative craft night to make signs for yourself and others to use on International Women’s Day. All are welcome at this child-friendly event. 5-6:30 p.m. at HIV/AIDS Regional Services, 844 Princess St.
Thursday, March 7th
Beaded Resistance: Ruth Cuthand, Nadia Myre, and Indigenous Feminism: Shauna Shiels, who is currently completing her PhD at Queen’s University in cultural studies, will be discussing her research on indigenous women’s beadwork and definitions of indigenous feminism. Free admission. 5-7 p.m. at Four Directions Aboriginal Centre, 146 Barrie St.
Remembering Saartjies Baartman: Film screening of Abdel Kechdie’s Black Venus (2010), which explores the fascinating story of Saartjies Baartman and representations of the black female body in the Victorian era. There will also be an opportunity for discussion after the movie over complimentary refreshments. 7 p.m. at John Deutsch University Centre (2nd floor), 87 Union St.
Friday, March 8th
International Women’s Day of Action: A march will be taking place in the downtown core, along with multiple events on the Queen’s University campus and Kingston’s west end. More details about how to lend your support available here.
Rouge – The 90s Edition: Bust out your favorite 90s gear, travel back in time, and dance the night away at this costume party fundraiser. All monies go directly to client care at HIV/AIDS Regional Services. 19+ event, fully accessible venue, door prizes. 9:30 p.m. at The Renaissance, 285 Queen St.
Saturday, March 9th
Celebrate Working for Social Change: Dialogues of Resistance: Share your thoughts about the role of women in contemporary political movements. This workshop will include panel discussion, small group discussion, and large group discussion formats to explore the relationship between feminism and social activism. Childcare is available. Free admission. 1-4 p.m. at the Kingston Public Library (Delahaye Room), 130 Johnson St.
Sunday, March 10th
Slutwalk: In the same vein as Take Back the Night, Slutwalk is committed to calling out the silence and judgement that surround rape and sexual assault. Come together and put a stop to slut-shaming and victim-blaming. 2:30 p.m. at City Park.
CFRC will also be broadcasting special music and spoken word programming from March 2-10 in honor of International Women’s Week. Tune in for thoughtful coverage that celebrates women and highlights issues that impact women near and far. A full schedule of details for CFRC’s International Women’s Week lineup is available online.
For more information on how to get involved with International Women’s Week or if you’d like to see what other exciting activities are planned, visit the We Don’t Stop Kingston website or Facebook group.
Thanks and credit for the image associated with today’s post to The Gender Blog.