Kingston celebrates International Women’s Week 2024

Bright colours and a warm embrace embodied the meaning of International Women’s Day for one photographer at women’s photo walk in New York City on International Women’s Day in 2018. Photo by Vonecia Carswell.

Friday, Mar. 8, 2024, will mark the 113th International Women’s Day, and Kingston will be hosting events throughout the week, leading up to Friday.

Many different people and organizations are involved in running the events this week. Most of the events are being run in partnership by Resolve Counselling Services, Sexual Assault Centre Kingston, Kingston Immigration Partnership (KIP), Kingston Anti-Violence Advisory Council (KAVAC), Trellis HIV and Community Care, and Kingston Interval House (KIH).

On Tuesday, Mar. 5, KIH teamed up with the Human Rights and Equity Office at Mackintosh-Corry Hall on Queen’s campus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m, hosting a table event for students to learn about services in the community and on campus that support survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

On Thursday, Mar. 7, Trellis will host a women’s art show at their offices, located at 844 Princess Street. The event will run from 6 to 8 p.m., celebrating Kingston women in the fine arts.

On Friday, Mar. 8, there will be a march at City Hall from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Organized by Cate Patterson, the event will feature a table for participants to make signs, and the group will march around City Hall and down into Confederation Basin. At 5:45 p.m., five local speakers will take the mic, and local musician, Megan Hamilton, will play music, as well as coordinate chants during the march.

“I think it is important to get together and share… to raise our voices as one, just having that collective solidarity. I think it really helps us to amplify women’s voices and to celebrate them, and we still have a lot of work to do,” Patterson expressed.

After the march, people can head over to the Screening Room, which will be playing Barbie at 7 p.m. in support of the KAVAC. The Anti-Violence Council will give a brief presentation before the screening, and there will be tables set with information about the supporting organizations. The first 30 people to arrive will get free popcorn, donated by the Kingston and District Labour Council.

On Saturday, Mar. 9, Queen’s University Swing Dance Club will be hosting an event at The Spire in support of Kingston’s largest provider of shelter and support services specifically for women and children. An introductory swing dancing lesson will start at 6 p.m., and the social will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door, and all the proceeds will go towards KIH.

In addition, until March 8, The Toucan will have drink specials and on Friday, Mar. 8, performances from local female-lead musical acts, The Clay Pigeons, Deb Feeley and Greg Law, and Savannah Shea.

The theme for International Women’s Day this year is “Inspire Inclusion.” As Leigh Martins from KIH expressed, this week is a time for everyone to acknowledge the challenges and systemic issues women still have to face, but also to highlight women in our community. Kingston Interval House wants to empower Kingston women with information and a sense of community, Martins said.

KIH is doing a social media campaign throughout the week which will be “a series of posts that Kingston-based service agencies jointly created to highlight the unique intersectional barriers women and femme people face, and honour their contributions to our community,” their first post explains.

For more information on the events for International Women’s Week, visit KIH’s Facebook page.

International Women’s Week infographic. Image via Leigh Martins.

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